Hours after its issuance, the Swedish Prosecution Authority withdrew a warrant for the arrest of whistleblower activist and former hacker Julian Assange, who had been accused of raping a woman and molesting another, according to a report from Sweden’s The Local.
“I do not consider there to be any reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” chief prosecutor Eva FinnÃƒÂ© said in a prepared statement published online.
The Local added: “A source close to the case told the newspaper that two women in their twenties went to the police in Stockholm on Friday to speak about their recent encounters with Assange.”
His arrest warrant was issued late Friday night, as authorities considered the possibility that he could interfere with the investigation while free.
Though the warrant has been withdrawn, a police investigation will continue.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, a colleague of Assange’s who spoke to AFP from Iceland, said that the charges against him were false.
“He didn’t know of the charges until he read them in the right wing tabloid Expressen this morning”, Hrafnsson said. “There are powerful organisations who want to do harm to Wikileaks.”
Assange has been a high-profile media personality since his site published some 92,000 pages of secret military documents that reveal a detailed history of the Afghan war.
Last week Assange announced at a press conference in Stockholm that the site was set to publish a final batch of 15,000 secret documents on the war in Afghanistan in “a couple of weeks.”
The FBI and Pentagon are investigating the case and have been questioning a US soldier who has been charged with giving Wikileaks a classified video showing a July 2007 US Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed several people, including journalists.