Barcepundit posts that
NBC says the molestation charges remain, though:
“I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” chief prosecutor Eva Finne said, in announcing the withdrawal of the warrant. She did not address the status of the molestation case, a less serious charge that would not lead to an arrest warrant.
But Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told NBC News that the allegation of molestation remains. However, Rosander said that after a new prosecutor looked at the allegations, the arrest warrant was withdrawn because the severity of the case does not require an arrest at this stage.
More at Sweden’s TheLocal.
This just in,
WikiLeaks Founder No Longer Wanted for Rape
Here’s the WSJ report in its entirety:
Swedish police said Saturday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was “no longer wanted” for rape, reversing its position just hours after saying his arrest was being sought.
In an update on the Web site of the Swedish Prosecution Authority, the agency said that “chief prosector Eva Finné has come to the decision that Julian Assange is not suspected of rape.”
Mr. Assange said in a posting on the WikiLeaks Twitter account in response to the initial allegation by police: “The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.”
WikiLeaks last month published 76,000 classified U.S. military documents about the war in Afghanistan. Mr. Assange, an Australian, has been in Sweden in recent days, where WikiLeaks has some infrastructure.
The Pentagon has sharply criticized Mr. Assange for publishing the documents, saying it could put the lives of solidiers and Afghan civilians at risk. Mr. Assange has said he planned to publish up to 15,000 more documents about the war soon. He defends the publications, saying greater transparency is needed about civilian casualties, U.S. military tactics and other issues.
In a statement posted on the WikiLeaks site, the organization said:”On Saturday 21st of August, we have been made aware of rape allegations made against Julian Assange, founder of this project and one of our spokespeople. We are deeply concerned about the seriousness of these allegations. We the people behind WikiLeaks think highly of Julian and and he has our full support. While Julian is focusing on his defenses and clearing his name, WikiLeaks will be continuing its regular operations.”
In an earlier Twitter posting, WikiLeaks said it had been warned to expect “dirty tricks.”
The founder of WikiLeaks was accused of rape in a Swedish arrest warrant Saturday that turned the spotlight onto the former hacker who has infuriated governments with his self-proclaimed mission to make secrets public.
The accusation was labeled a dirty trick by Julian Assange and his group, who are preparing to release a fresh batch of classified U.S. documents from the Afghan war.
Swedish prosecutors urged Mr. Assange—a 39-year-old Australian whose whereabouts were unclear—to turn himself in to police to face questioning in one case involving suspicions of rape and another based on an accusation of molestation.
They issued a warrant for his arrest, a move that doesn’t necessarily mean that criminal charges will be filed. Investigators want him in custody because they believe there is a risk he will obstruct the probe by destroying evidence, said Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
“The next step is that we interrogate him,” she said. “Then we’ll see what happens.”
Mr. Assange has no permanent address and travels frequently—jumping from one friend’s place to the next. He disappears from public view for months at a time, only to reappear in the full glare of the cameras at packed news conferences to discuss his site’s latest disclosure.
He was in Sweden last week seeking legal protection for the whistleblower website, which angered the Obama administration for publishing thousands of leaked documents about U.S. military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Assange was in Sweden last week partly to apply for a publishing certificate to make sure the website, which has servers in Sweden, can take full advantage of Swedish laws protecting whistleblowers.
CNN says Assange is wanted in Sweden after accusations of rape and molestation.
given the little that’s being reported, I can’t help but agree with him that the charges are disturbing. Welcome to the intelligence big leagues, Assange. I suspect you’re about to get knocked out of the park. Be very afraid. I suspect that, more than anything, is what the charges are meant to convey. That, and to provide grounds for your arrest
In all seriousness, while I view Assange as substantially lower than pond scum, this story is incredibly murky. While I’m happy to see him discredited and silenced, bogus rape charges are beyond the pale. One trusts that there’s substantive probable cause he for issuing the warrant.
Wonder how the anti-war left will treat the news about one of their WikiLeaks heroes? Will they treat him like they do the troops and assume guilt before innocence, or will they rush to his defense and assert that this is a smear campaign designed to take down a snake who cares nothing about the fate of the hundreds, possibly thousands of Afghan and American lives he put in even more danger with the publishing of the WikiLeaks information?
As Drudge says, “developing.”
The Telegraph has more on the complaint,
The complaints are said to have come from two Swedish women aged between 20 and 30, and relate to alleged incidents that occurred in a Stockholm apartment and in the city of Enköping outisde Stockholm. Neither police nor the newspaper have named the complainants.
Much more to come?