Update: Assange Arrest Warrant Dropped As Wikileaks Warns of ‘Dirty Tricks’

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Julian Assange, having a rough morning. Photo: Getty Images

Update: A Swedish arrest warrant against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for suspicion of rape and molestation was issued on Friday and dropped today, though a sexual-harassment charge still stands. Assange denied the accusations and called them "deeply disturbing." Wikileaks said on its Twitter account: "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks'. Now we have the first one."

The Guardian reports that Assange, an Australian citizen, was in Sweden to apply for a publishing certificate for Wikileaks, which has servers in Sweden, so it can take full advantage of Swedish laws "protecting whistleblowers." The trip came after Pirate Party, a Swedish political party that also hosts the file-sharing site the Pirate Bay, agreed earlier this week to host some of Wikileak's servers.

The Swedish tabloid Expressen was the first to report the existence of an arrest warrant. The paper, citing "a source close to the case," reported that "two women in their twenties went to the police in Stockholm on Friday to speak about their recent encounters with Assange."

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in the U.S. have said they are exploring possible criminal charges for WikiLeaks and Assange, believing that their release of classified Afghanistan war reports last month was illegal, on the grounds of having "encouraged the theft of government property."


Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks website, accused of rape in Sweden, faces arrest, police say [NYDN]

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange accused of rape [Guardian UK]

Wikileaks founder suspected of rape [Local]
Prosecutors Eye WikiLeaks Charges [WSJ]

Twitter.com/WikiLeaks [WikiLeaks/Twitter]

Sweden withdraws arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder [MSNBC]