Swedish prosecutor to seek arrest of WikiLeaks founder

A Swedish prosecutor has announced plans to seek a court order for the
arrest of the border-hoping founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks,
Julian Assange, in order to question him for charges of rape and other offenses, the New York Times reports.

The NYT reports that the director of Stockholm’s prosectuor office, Marianne Ny, is seeking an arrest warrant for Assange, in order for him to attend a court hearing. She wrote:

“I request the District Court of Stockholm to detain Mr. Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. The reason for my request is that we have been unable to interrogate him. So far, we have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogations.”

Assange has been the subject of international debate after his site published thousands of leaked military documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last week J-Source‘s investigative journalism editor Cecil Rosner wrote about a group of investigative journalists that have stood up for Assange, to show the importance of whistleblowing. He writes:

“In response to the backlash, especially from some sectors
of the reporting community, a group of international investigative journalists
is now coming to the defence of Assange and WikiLeaks. A statement of support,
signed by members and associates of a global investigative journalism
association, seeks to defend the principle and practice of the site.

“We believe that Mr Assange has made an outstanding
contribution to transparency and accountability on the Afghanistan and Iraq
wars, subjects where transparency and accountability has been severely
restricted by government secrecy and media control,” the statement says. “He is
being attacked for releasing information that should never have been withheld
from the public.”

The statement, which has already been signed by
journalists from more than 40 countries, defends WikiLeaks’ right to post
confidential military documents. “If it is espionage to publish documents
provided by whistleblowers, then every journalist will eventually be guilty of
that crime. Mr Assange deserves our support and encouragement in the face of
the attacks.”