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International warrant for Assange 'on its way'

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 19 Nov 2010, 12:07

Published: 19 Nov 2010 12:07 GMT+01:00

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The National Criminal Police International Police Cooperation Division (Rikskriminalens enhet för internationellt polissamarbete - IPO) confirmed receipt of the request on Friday.

"We have quality-assured it and it is now being translated into English. It will go out this afternoon," said police superintendent Tommy Kangas Vieri to the TT news agency.

A remand order was issued for Assange on Thursday by Stockholm District Court on probable cause suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

Julian Assange did not attend the remand hearing and as a result of the court's decision to detain Mr. Assange in his absence, an international arrest warrant was the next step in the legal process, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Assange's Swedish lawyer Björn Hurtig has called the prosecutor's petition "exaggerated" and "out of proportion", claiming that his client had made several offers to submit himself to police questioning.

Prosecutor Marianne Ny however said on Thursday that she was not aware of these offers, explaining that "the district court shared our opinion that there is flight risk in this case".

An international arrest warrant is published in three law enforcement systems - the Swedish, the Schengen system SIS and Interpol.

When asked how long it usually takes for a wanted person to be detained, Kangasvieri said:

"It can proceed quite fast."

There are three routine ways for police to apprehend a suspect. The simplest is to visit a registered address and make an arrest. Many are detained in traffic checks and can be detained on the spot.

"If they try to leave the country by air then the system reacts when their passport is checked," said Kangasvieri.

Assange's UK-based lawyer Mark Stephens said his client plans to challenge the district court order for his arrest in the appeals court.

Story continues below…

The 39-year-old whistle blower has admitted that he had met both women at the centre of the case, who according to their lawyer are both Swedish and aged between 25 and 35, saying "they were both at my press conference."

He has since insisted that he has never had non-consensual sex with anyone, and refused to discuss whether he had sexual relations with the women in question, saying it was a "private matter".

Assange has repeatedly denied committing any crime and has criticised how Swedish prosecutors have handled his case, claiming that he plans to sue for damages.

WikiLeaks last month published 400,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war. It enraged US authorities by posting 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:50 November 19, 2010 by MorbidMiss
I predict that the first ten comments after this one will be about the following topics: 1 Women are evil, conniving harlots , 2 It was a government conspiracy to discredit Wiki Leaks, 3 Evil Americans made the Swedish Government do it , 4 America is nothing but a bunch of war-mongerers who never ever have any concern except for their own interests.

I think that probably covers it. This is standard for discourse concerning this guy. Most likely none of that is actually true, but no one will believe it. 1 is of course not true, and neither is 4 but the people saying it will never believe that either.
15:46 November 19, 2010 by Toonie
In fact, no.

1. Women are hardly different from men in being of many types. 2 Conspiracies don't have to be started by governments. 3 I'm sure the US has never 'made' the Swedish government do anything (unless you have examples to the contrary). And 4. America has many citizens and people in government who are more left-wing and liberal than many Swedes. So what is your point? Trying to deflect a different point of view before it can be uttered?

This isn't about being competing yobs at a political 'football match'. This is about the functioning of democracies against the background of new technologies. The US govt would be remiss if it did not try to stop Wikileaks any way it could. On the other hand some people with access to important information feel it would be remiss of them not to make it public. It's a fascinating battle. The outcome will have consequences a long way ahead. But anti-conspiracy theorists take note: The US has hardly questioned the authenticity of the information emerging from Assange's organisation. So what do want to do, play the ball, or play the man?
16:05 November 19, 2010 by eZee.se
Still sending a clear message: You dont f*** with the US govt and live in peace.

First it was ThePirateBay trials and now this... anybody have an exact date when Sweden became the the US' b!tch?
22:53 November 19, 2010 by mombassa
@MorbidMiss, as @Toonie wrote, you're trying to deflect a different point of view before it can be uttered, framing the arguments in extremes that nobody would hold to.

A reasonable statement would be that these women could have been coerced to discredit Assange or put him out of action through imprisonment for the benefit of the US.

You might not like it but tough sh*t, reality doesn't need to adhere to your fancies.
09:16 November 20, 2010 by GLO
10:40 November 20, 2010 by marianne667
"unlawful coercion"? Is that when you nag somebody for sex? If it is, I never knew it was illegal...good to know....
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