WikiLeaks founder Assange 'to meet British police'

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he and his client were in the process of arranging to meet British police.

WikiLeaks founder Assange 'to meet British police'

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Monday he and his client were in the process of arranging to meet British police.

Assange, 39, is wanted in Sweden for questioning about allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, and an arrest warrant was received by London's Metropolitan Police earlier on Monday, a police source told Reuters.

The Australian, whose WikiLeaks website is at the centre of a row over the release of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, has denied the allegations.

"Late this afternoon after close of business I got a call from the police who said that they had received an extradition request from Sweden," London lawyer Mark Stephens said.

"Their request is to interview Julian Assange. He's not been charged with anything.

"We are in the process of making arrangements to meet with the police by consent in order to facilitate the taking of that question and answer that is needed."

He said the interview will happen in the "foreseeable future" but could not give an exact timescale.

Sweden's prosecution authority said it had given British police all the information they requested.

British media had reported that Assange was in Britain after WikiLeaks released a trove of US cables.

Assange's legal team has said it will mount a challenge in the British courts to any Swedish attempt to have him arrested and sent to Sweden.

Stephens was not immediately available for further comment.

The Swedish prosecution authority at first opened, then dropped and then re-opened the investigation of allegations by two Swedish women. Assange's Swedish lawyer has said his client believed foreign powers were influencing Sweden.

The latest release listed details of sites around the world which the United States considers vital to its interests, including drug companies and energy installations.

Earlier Monday, Swiss authorities shut down one of Assange's bank accounts with the Swiss Post Office's banking arm saying he had provided false information in his application.

"PostFinance has ended its business relationship with WikiLeaks founder Julian Paul Assange," the bank said in a statement.

WikiLeaks had advertised the PostFinance account details online to "donate directly to the Julian Assange and other WikiLeaks Staff Defence Fund," giving an account name of "Assange Julian Paul, Geneve." The online payment service PayPal has also suspended WikiLeaks' account.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday the Obama administration was considering using laws in addition to the U.S. Espionage Act to possibly prosecute the release of government information by WikiLeaks.

Assange has said he and colleagues are taking steps to protect themselves after death threats.


Agencies

Last Mod: 07 Aralık 2010, 12:44
Add Comment