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Swedish court rejects Assange appeal

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Swedish court rejects Assange appeal
16:14 CET+01:00
A Swedish court ruled on Wednesday to reject WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange's appeal against an arrest warrant for rape, meaning that the Australian remains wanted worldwide.

"The Svea Court of Appeal has today decided to reject Julian Assange's appeal against the Stockholm district court decision to remand him," the court wrote in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

The appeals court said that it had "in certain parts" of its ruling come to a different conclusion than the district court but that "grounds for a remand order remained".

An international arrest warrant was issued for the 39-year-old Australian on November 20th following a decision by the district court on November 18th.

The Stockholm district court ordered an arrest warrant for Assange for questioning on "probable cause of suspected rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion" in Sweden in August.

The court order allowed prosecutor Marianne Ny, who had requested Assange's detention, to prepare the international arrest warrant for the head of the whistleblower website, who is believed to be in Britain.

Ny insisted on Thursday that arresting Assange was the only way she could be sure of questioning him about the allegations of raping one woman and sexually molesting another.

Assange has strongly denied the charges and hinted that they could be part of a "smear campaign" against his whistleblower website for publishing classified US documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has also claimed, via his Swedish lawyer Björn Hurtig, that he has made several offers to be interviewed by police. Prosecutor Marianne Ny has since stated that she was not aware of any such offers.

WikiLeaks last month published an unprecedented 400,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war and posted 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July.

The website recently claimed on its Twitter feed that it was preparing its largest leak ever, claiming that "coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined".

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