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Interpol Issues Warrant for Wikileaks' Julian Assange

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is in some legal hot water. Interpol just added Assange to a world wide most wanted list. On November 30, 2010 Interpol released a warrant for Assange's arrest. The warrant was issued by the international public prosecution office in Gothenburg, Sweden and contains pertinent information identifying Assange, his birth place, and a request for anyone with information on Assange's location to contact local
or state authorities. Many expect Assange to flee to Switzerland. Ecudador's foreign minister, Kintto Lucas offered Assange asylum on Monday with the statement "We are ready to give him residence in Ecuador, with no problems and no conditions."

The warrant stems from an August incident in Sweden involving two women, sex crimes a d rape allegations. Assange is believed to be in hiding within the United Kingdom and has denied the allegations. Assange retained London attorney Mark Stephens to represent him in the wake of the allegations. Stephens reported to the Guardian: "Julian Assange has never been charged by Swedish prosecutors. He is formally wanted as a witness." Assange and his attorney have indicated the allegations are false, rendering the potential charges "a smear" campaign. Stephens also offered: "All we have is an English translation of what's being reported in the media. The Swedish authorities have not met their obligations under domestic and European law to communicate the nature of the allegations against him in a language that he understands, and the evidence against him."

Wikileaks' recent publishing of 250,000 diplomatic cable links from (perhaps) illegally obtained U.S. government records only adds to Assange's mounting legal woes. The U.S. has launched an investigation regarding the cable link to determine if Assange has violated espionage laws. Other countries, including Sweden and Australia, are following suit and considering aggressive legal action against Assange while conducting criminal investigations.

Legal experts have weighed in on the case, speculating that Assange will evade charges as international laws, especially within the U.S., regarding espionage are outdated and difficult to prove.

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