Interpol posts wanted notice for WikiLeaks founder

LONDON Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:27pm EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Interpol issued a "red notice" on Tuesday to assist in the arrest of Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, who is wanted in Sweden on suspicion of sexual crimes.

Assange, a former computer hacker now at the center of a global controversy after WikiLeaks released a trove of classified U.S. diplomatic cables at the weekend, denies the Swedish allegations.

The website of Interpol, the international police agency, said anyone with information on the Australian-born Assange, 39, should contact their national or local police.

Red notices allow arrest warrants issued by national police authorities to be circulated to other countries to facilitate arrests and help possible extradition.

Assange's current whereabouts are not known and he is believed to move from country to country.

A Swedish court on November 18 ordered the detention of Assange. The prosecutor's office had started an investigation into allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion against Assange in September.

Assange's lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, told journalists after the hearings he expected a European arrest warrant would be issued for Assange, who had sometimes visited Sweden in the past, and that he would probably appeal.

Assange has called the allegations baseless and criticized what he has called a legal circus in Sweden, where he had been seeking to build a base in order to benefit from its strict journalist protection laws.

WikiLeaks has angered the United States by releasing more than 250,000 State Department cables exposing the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy, including brutally candid assessments of world leaders.

WikiLeaks had in October released nearly 400,000 classified U.S. files on the Iraq war, which Assange said showed 15,000 more Iraqi civilian deaths had occurred than thought.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (6) wrote:
trumped up charges or not, assange did the world NO favors with wikileaks. the world is a more tensed place now because of him, and many world leaders are distracted into recovery mode instead of spending time on what matters. arrest him, close wikileaks!

Nov 30, 2010 11:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ModernMiss wrote:
It’s a little suspicious given the timing of this allegation against Mr. Assagne. This is simply the work of corrupt governments “cutting off the head of the snake”. We must keep in mind that without documents revealing injustice within ¬†organizations such as the pentagon and white house, there would be no reason to leak it. Peter King, a republican politician recently called Wikileaks a terrorist organization. The pentagon have started to DDOS with wikileaks website at 10Gigabit/s, and now this accusation. Assagne and Wikileaks are simply the outlet for whistle blowers to confide in. Wikileaks gives people a glimpse into the real world and shows the injustice thats going on in our world. People want to know the truth so they can make their own decisions about the topic at hand.
They say that there is blood on Julians hands for releasing these documents but this blood is on the documents creators. He is not the one at fault here, it is those taking careless actions in high powered political positions with no regard for the consequences. Julian Assagne is a modern day hero for exposing the injustice. This is history in the making.

Dec 01, 2010 12:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
Rhino1 wrote:
CIA – FBI – INTERPOL – most bankers and presidents: all one big corrupt bunch. If someone has the courage to step out of line and speak/publish the truth, that individual has to be stopped by any means necessary.
Mr Assange, I have a spare room and a fast internet connection. You are always welcome to stay with me. I would regard it an honour.

Dec 01, 2010 1:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
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Slaying of a journalist