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article imageUpdate: Julian Assange rape warrant now canceled

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By R. C. Camphausen     Aug 21, 2010 in World
Stockholm - Swedish authorities have canceled the earlier issued warrant that is described below, saying that the chief prosecutor had come to the decision that Mr Assange was not suspected of rape. No further explanation was given.
Update
In the evening (European time), the BBC has reported that Swedish authorities have canceled the earlier issued warrant that is described below.
Earlier todya, yhe BBC reported that Sweden's prosecutors' office had issued a warrant and are seeking to arrest WikiLeaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange. Officially, the accusations are not concerned with leaked documents about the Afghan war or the video from Baghdad, but concern sexual molestation and rape.
The warrant was issued yesterday, August 20, and Swedish police are trying to find Assange, without any success.
Instead, Mr Assange seems to have known about the impending arrest warrant, and a message on Twitter reads "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks'." A second message goes on to say that no one at WikiLeaks has been contacted by Swedish police, and "Needless to say this will prove hugely distracting."
The most recent tweet relating to the accusations state: "the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing."
News about the warrant first appeared in the Swedish tabloid Expressen, and it seems that the two charges, rape and molestation, refer to two different incidents. The accusers, two women in their mid-twenties, are as yet un-named.
France 24 has raised the interesting question whether or not the warrant is an international one.
As of this moment, the most detailed coverage of this situation has been provided by the Swedish website The Local:
Assange spent time with one of the women at an apartment in Södermalm in Stockholm on Saturday night, while he met the other women in the nearby town of Enköping, according to Expressen. The prosecution authority said Assange was suspected of rape in the Enköping case and harassment in Stockholm.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, a colleague of Assange's who spoke to news agency AFP from Iceland, said that the charges against him were false.
"He didn't know of the charges until he read them in the right wing tabloid Expressen this morning", Hrafnsson said. "There are powerful organisations who want to do harm to WikiLeaks."
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