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Sweden renews Assange arrest warrant

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16:51 CET+01:00
Swedish police have released a new international arrest warrant for WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange to satisfy the requirements of the police in Britain, the prosecutor's office said Friday.

"We sent back the elements that the British police asked for," Karin Rosander, the director of communication for the Swedish prosecution office, told AFP.

"They were asking for additional information concerning the maximum penalty for all the crimes and infractions on the file. We usually only include the most severe offence", which was rape in this case, she said.

"The information was submitted," she said, but could not confirm if it had been received by British police.

The Stockholm district court had ordered on November 18th an arrest warrant for Assange for questioning on suspicions of "rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion" in Sweden in August.

The court order authorised prosecutor Marianne Ny, who had requested Assange's detention, to prepare an international arrest warrant for the hacker, who travels constantly.

The global police agency Interpol said Wednesday it had alerted member states to arrest the 39-year-old Australian on suspicion of rape on the basis of a Swedish arrest warrant.

But British reports said Thursday that police in Britain -- where Assange could be hiding -- could not arrest him because the Swedish warrant was incomplete.

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Sweden acknowledged the blunder and said it would issue a new warrant.

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks started publishing some 250,000 US embassy cables on Sunday, which has infuriated Washington and embarrassed many governments worldwide.

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