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Assange free to leave Sweden: lawyer

AFP/The Local · 19 Sep 2010, 02:38

Published: 19 Sep 2010 02:38 GMT+02:00

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Björn Hurtig said an investigation was still under way but the head of the whistleblowing website had been given no summons for questioning.

"I have been told that there is no arrest warrant against him," meaning Assange could do what he liked, including going abroad, Hurtig said.

Sweden's director of prosecutions Marianne Ny said on September 1st she was reopening a rape probe against the Australian, who had an arrest warrant against him issued on August 20th but saw it withdrawn by another prosecutor the following day.

Assange, 39, has said the allegations against him are part of a "smear campaign" aimed at discrediting his website, which is locked in a row with the Pentagon over the release of secret US documents about the war in Afghanistan.

A source familiar with the case said one of Assange's two alleged victims had been questioned on Friday and the other would be seen on Monday.

In a telephone interview with AFP on September 8th Assange said the charges against him were part of "a clear set-up," and had caused damage to WikiLeaks.

He said that he had decided to stay in Sweden to prove his innocence.

"This entire rape investigation has been conducted without my input," he said, adding that the police refused to say if there was a warrant out for him or not.

Assange has admitted that he had met both women in question, but refused to say if had had sex with either of them, calling it "a private matter."

In his interview with AFP he would not point a direct finger at US intelligence services, which have expressed alarm at WikiLeaks' publishing of thousands of confidential documents.

But he said his website had "two reliable intelligence sources that state that Swedish intelligence was approached last month by the United States and told that Sweden must not be a safe haven for WikiLeaks."

Story continues below…

Two days before the allegations against Assange were made public, he had applied for a Swedish work and residency permit.

Some of the servers hosting the WikiLeaks website are kept in a basement in the Stockholm suburb of Solna.

WikiLeaks published nearly 77,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan on July 23rd, and intends to publish another 15,000.

Newsweek magazine said last week that WikiLeaks was teaming up with news outlets to release a "massive cache" of classified US military field reports on the conflict in Iraq.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:16 September 19, 2010 by chitowngirl
I don't care what he does. He must be working with the CIA since he thinks 911 was NOT and inside job...
16:34 September 19, 2010 by Frobobbles
Oh wow, is that true. Does he think that 911 was NOT an inside job? Oh my, what a nut. Maybe he doesn't even believe in David Icke's allegation that the queen of England is a shape-shifting lizard from outer space!
20:30 September 19, 2010 by chitowngirl

The events of 911 and what really took place are highly significant. To dismiss the scientific research and obvious proof as being "conspiracy" is ignorant to say the least. I was highly impressed by JA at first, but now I see that he is not going to release any significant info that will change anything whatsoever.
20:59 September 19, 2010 by wenddiver
@Frobbies- Wow, who would believe that a group of people who promised to terrorize the world, would terrorize the us. DUH! I think you found a live one Frobbies.
12:45 September 21, 2010 by Zharathustra
I always used to wonder how people managed to resolve one particular problem with such a conspiracy theory- the sheer number of private citizens who would have had to have been involved. I mean I've heard people suggest that anyone outside of the elite who would have had incidental knowledge (conservative estimates put the figure at roughly 100,000 but well reasoned estimates suggest upwards of 500,000) would have simply been paid off during the months leading up to the attack. Even if you accept that a significant portion of those people would have accepted such a payout, the idea that everyone would have accepted such a dead bewilders me. If one were to believe they would not accept such a deal, though that all those countless thousands of others incidentally exposed to the conspiracy would have- you would have to think yourself a uniquely moral person. Maybe you think everyone has a price at which they would abide the murder of several thousand people- friends, neighbors, acquaintances and total strangers alike. You would then either have to explain how a hundred thousand or more amoral lottery winners suddenly appearing at once would go unnoticed. Alternatively, if you thought all 100% of those people could soothe their consciences with less than a million dollars- you would have to explain which of the multitude of personality disorders leads you to believe you are so uniquely moral.
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