22 Aug 2010

Arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder withdrawn

6:53 am on 22 August 2010

Prosecutors in Sweden have withdrawn an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was earlier accused of rape and sexual assault.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority website said the chief prosecutor had come to the decision that Mr Assange was not suspected of rape, but did not give any further explanation.

The BBC reports the warrant was issued late on Friday.

Wikileaks, which has been criticised for leaking Afghan war documents, had quoted Mr Assange as saying the charges were "without basis".

The message, which appeared on Twitter and was attributed directly to Mr Assange, said the appearance of the allegations "at this moment is deeply disturbing".

In a series of other messages posted on the Wikileaks Twitter feed, the website said: "No-one here has been contacted by Swedish police" and that it had been warned to expect "dirty tricks".

The current whereabouts of Mr Assange, 39, an Australian, are unclear.