Swedish prosecutors issue, then cancel, arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder

Swedish prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Wikileaks' Julian Assange on Friday only to withdraw it hours later. Accused of rape and molestation, Assange was quoted on Twitter saying that the allegations were "without basis" and "deeply disturbing."

The warrant was cancelled on Saturday, however, with the chief prosecutor saying that Assange was not suspected of rape. From the BBC:

Screen shot 2010-08-21 at 2.44.25 PM.PNGIn a brief statement Eva Finne said: "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."

The website said there would be no further immediate comment.

Earlier, Karin Rosander, communications head at Sweden's prosecutors' office, said there were two separate allegations against Mr Assange, one of rape and the other of molestation. She gave no details of the accusations. She said that as far as she knew they related to alleged incidents that took place in Sweden.

On Saturday she said the police investigation into the molestation charge continued.

Wikileaks, which recently published 75,000 'war logs' relating to the war in Afghanistan, suggested the charges were 'dirty tricks,' but did not elaborate. Assange, whose globe-trotting advocacy for the organization makes him its most high-profile public face, was in Sweden last weekend to apply for a publishing certificate, which would qualify Wikileaks for protection under the country's journalist shield laws.

Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper reported further details of the the allegations. Assange remains under investigation for the lesser 'molestation' charge, which appears to be a literal translation of Sweden's sexual harassment laws.

Photo: New Media Days