THE Swedish National Criminal Police today issued an international arrest warrant for Julian Assange, the founder and chief editor of the WikiLeaks website, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Mr Assange had filed an appeal earlier today against a Swedish court order for the warrant on allegations of rape, his Swedish lawyer Bjoern Hurtig told AFP.
The Stockholm district court ordered an arrest warrant be issued for Mr Assange on Thursday for questioning on “probable cause suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion” in Sweden in August, AFP reported.
The court order allowed Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, who had requested Mr Assange’s detention, to prepare an international arrest warrant.
Ms Ny said Thursday that arresting the 39-year-old Mr Assange was the only way she would be able to question him about the allegations. Mr Assange has been accused of raping one woman in Sweden and sexually molesting another, charges he has denied.
Mr Assange has claimed the charges are part of a “smear campaign” against him and his website, which has published close to half a million classified US documents and files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.