Assange under threat of arrest in UK

ITN News

by ITN News

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be arrested soon after Sweden refiled an international warrant.

Mr Assange, who is understood to be in the UK, is wanted for questioning in Sweden on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, following complaints from two women in August.

An international warrant for the 39-year-old former computer hacker's arrest was issued by Swedish authorities last month, but British police requested more information about the penalties he could face if convicted. It is understood that this has now been provided.

But Mr Assange's UK lawyer Mark Stephens said said: "The police have given us an undertaking that they will contact us if they want to get in touch with Julian. At this point in time nobody has."

The latest tranche of confidential documents to appear on the website included cables from the US embassy in Afghanistan reporting criticisms of Britain's military operations in the country by President Hamid Karzai and a top Nato commander.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced her "regret" to the UK for the disparaging remarks made about British politicians and troops in leaked diplomatic papers.

Mrs Clinton has been forced into an awkward round of conversations with her counterparts around the world, after the leak of around 250,000 secret documents from her State Department to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

She said: "I personally want to convey to the Government and the people of the United Kingdom both my deep respect and admiration for the extraordinary efforts and our regret if anything that was said by anyone suggested the contrary."

"I think everyone knows that if we cannot speak openly and candidly with each other, we can't understand each other and we can't make policy that will benefit each other," she said.

"I have found in my many conversations in the last week that there is certainly an understanding of what diplomacy means. As one of my counterparts jokingly said: 'Don't worry about it - you should see what we say about you!"'

WikiLeaks has moved to the Swiss address wikileaks.ch after the American company providing its domain name, EveryDNS.net, cut off service because cyber attacks were threatening the rest of its network.