A Swedish prosecutor today requested that Julian Assange, founder of the Wikileaks whistleblower website, be detained for interrogation concerning a re-opened sexual assault investigation. The application could lead to an international arrest warrant.
Assange denies accusations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, which surfaced shortly after the website released the Afghanistan War Logs, containing thousands of leaked US military incident reports.
Index on Censorship trustee Mark Stephens, who is Assange’s lawyer, commented: “The behaviour of the investigators has been bizarre. I’ve never seen anything like it in 30 years of legal practice. We haven’t been able to answer the specifics of the smear because the investigators won’t detail the allegations and they haven’t responded to Mr Assange’s voluntary offers of interview.”
Index on Censorship chief executive John Kampfner said: “While we cannot comment on the specifics of the case, we are extremely concerned at the apparent conduct of the investigators. Anyone concerned about free speech and human rights will be alarmed at any suggestion that the allegations against Mr Assange are being manipulated for political purposes.”