Post image for Stockholm court issues new arrest warrant for Assange

Stockholm court issues new arrest warrant for Assange

by Jorge Hernandez on December 2, 2010

Sweden's supreme court issued a new international arrest warrant on Thursday for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, denying his ability to appeal charges of alleged rape and sexual misconduct.

The new arrest order came after a previous warrant proved faulty, leading British police to delay his capture despite knowledge of his whereabouts, his lawyer told the Associated Free Press.

Sources have suggested his whereabouts and/or telephone number are known by certain organizations, including Scotland Yard, which apparently did not arrest him because of technical errors found in the original Swedish ruling. Assange is allegedly in the south of England.

His lawyer Mark Stephens told the New York Times that "given the procedural defects we’ve seen so far, I'd be absolutely astonished if the Swedes were able to present a warrant valid in this country." He also added that due to the court's failure to provide formal notice of these documents and the "irregular[ity]" of the procedure, "one has to assume that the warrant is inappropriate," reports the AFP.

According to the Washington Post, Stephens has described the nebulous charges as "a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex," and not all Swedish prosecutors are unanimous in their decision to classify the offense as "rape."

Stephens said that his client has been willing to answer questions, but "to no avail," reports the Washington Post. Assange reportedly denies the allegations.

Interpol has been after Assange's arrest for the past two weeks, having issued their warrant on November 20. However, they have only now received Sweden's authorization to circulate the order, according to the source.

Assange has also been keeping a low profile due to assassination threats over his most recent leak of U.S. State Department cables. He hasn't been seen in public in nearly a month, speaking only through online interviews, according to the Washington Post.

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