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Rediff.com  » News » Sweden withdraws rape charges against WikiLeaks founder

Sweden withdraws rape charges against WikiLeaks founder

August 21, 2010 21:41 IST

Sweden on Friday withdrew an arrest warrant against whistleblower website WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, who had been accused of rape by the country's authorities.

Assange, whose website created global furore when it released classified United States military documents from the Afghanistan war, had dismissed the charges.

Swedish authorities had earlier claimed that Assange, an Australian, was facing accusations of rape and molestation. But they later withdrew their allegations, saying they had been made on unfounded claims.

"The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing," Assange had said.

Assange had angered the US administration after he announced that WikiLeaks will put up another set of 15,000 classified war documents soon. He had also turned down the Obama administration's appeal to hand over the documents and delete them from the internet.

Pentagon had earlier claimed that WikiLeaks' revelations could put US troopers deployed in Afghanistan at risk.

Assange and his team run the website from an unknown location and little information is available about them.