Eva Finne, Chief
Prosecutor: Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder
August 23, 2010
prosecutors have withdrawn an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange on charges of suspected rape.
Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne says she has determined there is no reason to
suspect Assange has committed such a crime.
The move Saturday comes just hours after the Swedish prosecutor's office
announced the Australian citizen had been accused of one count of rape
and one count of molestation.
Assange denied the allegations on WikiLeaks' Twitter feed, saying the
charges were "without basis." He called their timing "deeply
The WikiLeaks website has been criticized for publishing more than
70,000 classified or secret documents from the war in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Defense Department is reported to be considering criminal
charges against the group.
The Pentagon has told WikiLeaks its actions risk the lives of U.S.
soldiers and Afghan citizens, and could possibly undermine military
operations against extremists in Afghanistan.
Wednesday, WikiLeaks said contact had been established with the Pentagon
to initiate discussions on the issue of new document releases. But
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman denied that the department is willing
to collaborate with the website.
Assange said the site intends to publish another 15,000 documents on the
Internet within weeks. He said all the documents are being reviewed
"line by line," and that the names of "innocent parties who are under
reasonable threat" will be removed.
Whitman released a letter from Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson
saying the department will not discuss what he called "some 'minimized'
or 'sanitized' version of a release by WikiLeaks of additional
classified documents." The letter also repeats the department's demand
that all of the documents be returned, and that those already published
be removed from WikiLeaks' databases and destroyed.
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