FoxNews.com - Interpol Issues Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
Interpol has placed the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks on its most-wanted list after Sweden issued an arrest warrant against him as part of a drawn-out rape investigation.
The Lyon, France-based international police organization has issued a "red notice" for 39-year old Julian Assange — the equivalent of putting him on its most wanted list.
The issuance by Interpol was expected after a Swedish court in mid-November approved a motion to have Assange brought in for questioning. The notice, posted on Interpol's site Tuesday, is likely to make international travel more difficult for him.
Assange, whose whereabouts are unknown, is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. He has denied the allegations, which stem from his encounters with two women during a visit to Sweden in August.
A veteran computer hacker, Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006. It has published almost 500,000 secret U.S. documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Court documents filed by the prosecutor show Assange is suspected of raping and sexually molesting a woman in the town of Enkoping, central Sweden. He's suspected of sexual molestation and unlawful coercion of the second woman, in Stockholm.
A police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that both women had met Assange in connection with a seminar he gave in Stockholm on Aug. 14. The report shows the women filed their complaints together six days later.
Mark Stephens, Assange's lawyer in Britain, said both women have declared that they had "consensual sexual relations" with Assange.
"Only after the women became aware of each other's relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him," Stephens said in a statement.
Governments and some of Assange's own colleagues have denounced him for releasing Afghan documents that contained the names of Afghan intelligence sources for NATO forces, saying that could place the sources' lives at risk.
But Assange has urged U.S. authorities to investigate possible human rights abuses by American troops during the two conflicts. He also has complained that he and his group are being targeted and persecuted by intelligence agencies from the United States and elsewhere who are angry over the leaks of the secret military documents.