Wikileaks founder Assange likely to hand himself to UK police today over rape charges

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LONDON - Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblower website ‘Wikileaks’, is reportedly preparing to hand himself to the British police possibly by Tuesday after a fresh European Arrest Warrant was issued by the Swedish authorities over rape and sexual molestation charges.

The Telegraph quoted Mark Stephens, Assange’s British lawyer, as saying that his client is expected to voluntarily attend a police station within the next 24 hours, and would then appear in a magistrates’ court.

“We are in discussions about him going to the police by consent,” he added.

Assange is currently in hiding in the south-east of England, the paper said.

Sweden’s Supreme Court upheld a court order to detain Assange for questioning on suspicion of “rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion” after he appealed against two lower court rulings.

The Swedish authorities had issued a European arrest warrant against Assange last month, but it could not be acted upon because it did not contain sufficient information for the British authorities. However, extra details were sent last week and were being processed, the paper added.

Earlier this week, he suffered another setback when PayPal, the online payments service, had blocked donations to WikiLeaks and to a German foundation that raises funds for it following the release of 250,000 confidential US government cables.

The founder and his website has been facing troubles following the release of 250,000 confidential US government cables, which created controversy around the world. (ANI)

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