WikiLeaks head on most-wanted list

Nov. 30, 2010 at 11:59 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been placed on an international law enforcement most-wanted list, authorities said.

Assange, who has asked the Swedish Supreme Court to toss out an arrest warrant accusing him of rape, was placed on Interpol's most-wanted list, CNN reported Tuesday.

The controversial whistle-blower Web site developer had appealed to Sweden's highest court after a lower appellate court ruled last week that an arrest order for him was valid, Radio Sweden reported Tuesday.

Assange, 39, who is from Australia but is believed to be in Britain, is the subject of an Interpol hunt. Interpol issued a so-called Red Notice in putting him on its most-wanted listed at the request of a Swedish court, CNN reported.

The Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, but an advisory distributed to 188 member nations "to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition," Interpol said.

Assange maintains his innocence on the rape and sexual molestation charges, and his supporters contend the charges against him are meant to silence him for releasing hundreds of thousands of military documents dealing with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. WikiLeaks also has released 251,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, causing concern among national leaders and diplomats worldwide.

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