"STOCKHOLM — Swedish prosecutors on Saturday withdrew an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying a rape allegation it was based on is unfounded.
The accusation was labeled a dirty trick by Julian Assange and his group, who are preparing to release a fresh batch of classified U.S. documents from the Afghan war.
Swedish prosecutors had urged Assange — a nomadic 39-year-old Australian whose whereabouts were unclear — to turn himself in to police to face questioning in one case involving suspicions of rape and another based on an accusation of molestation.
"I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape," chief prosecutor Eva Finne said, in announcing the withdrawal of the warrant. She did not address the status of the molestation case, a less serious charge that would not lead to an arrest warrant.
But Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told NBC News that the allegation of molestation remains. However, Rosander said that after a new prosecutor looked at the allegations, the arrest warrant was withdrawn because the severity of the case does not require an arrest at this stage."Staff writer for NBC (American; Independent; Secular special interests coverage; has been accused of supporting Democrat special interests) (American21 / 08 | August / 2010