On 20 August 2010, an investigation was opened against Assange in Sweden in connection with an allegation that he had raped a woman in Enköping on the weekend of 14 August after a seminar, and two days later had sexually harassed a second woman he had been staying with in Stockholm. Shortly after the investigation opened, however, chief prosecutor Eva Finné overruled the prosecutor on call the night the report was filed, withdrawing the warrant to arrest Assange and saying "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape." He was still being investigated for harassment, which covers reckless conduct or inappropriate physical contact. The second woman, Anna Ardin, was a member of the Swedish Association of Christian Social Democrats, a Christian affiliate of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which organized a seminar and news conference in Sweden for Assange. She was acting as Assange's spokeswoman and hosting him as a guest in her home during his stay in Sweden. Ardin has been reported by the media to be linked to notorious CIA operative. Assange said "the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing"; his supporters say he is the victim of a character assassination and smear campaign. Assange denies any wrongdoing but admits to having had unprotected but consensual encounters with two women during a visit to Sweden in August. He was questioned by police for an hour on 31 August, and on 1 September a senior Swedish prosecutor re-opened the investigation saying new information had come in. The women's lawyer, Claes Borgström, a Swedish politician, had earlier appealed against the decision not to proceed. Assange has said that the accusation against him is a "set-up" arranged by the enemies of WikiLeaks.
In late October, Sweden denied Assange's application for a Swedish residency and work permit. Subsequently, on 4 November, Assange said that he is considering a formal request for political asylum in Switzerland as "a real possibility." He would also move the WikiLeaks servers to Switzerland in order to "operate in safety." However, according to the Swiss Refugee Council (Schweizerische Flüchtlingshilfe), his chances of obtaining asylum there are small. Assange would first need to claim protection from his native Australia, and then make a credible argument that Australia could not protect him. This would be extremely difficult, according to the organisation.
On 18 November, Stockholm District Court approved a request to detain Assange for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion. Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny, who had reopened the investigation in September, said she had requested the warrant because, "so far, we have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogation." Assange's British legal counsel, Mark Stephens, disputed this, saying "we were willing to meet at the Swedish embassy or Scotland Yard or via video link" and that "all of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate." On 20 November, Sweden's National Criminal Police force issued an international arrest warrant for Assange via Interpol; an EU arrest warrant was issued through the Schengen Information System. "We made sure that all the police forces in the world would see it", a spokesman for the National Criminal Police said.
Stephens dismissed the charges, issuing a statement in which he called the allegations "false and without basis" and said "even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape."
On 18 November, Assange's Swedish lawyer, Björn Hurtig, stated that the evidence against Assange was "very meager. It's not enough to get him convicted for crime."
On 24 November 2010, Assange lost an appeal against his detention, and thus remains under arrest in absentia and under an arrest warrant. The Svea Court of Appeal rejected his appeal and upheld the decision to remand him by the Stockholm district court. In late November, Assange escalated the process by appealing to the Supreme Court of Sweden, but the Court refused to hear the appeal.
Wikinews has related news: Interpol orders arrest of Wikileaks founder to face rape charges
On 30 November 2010, Interpol issued a red notice against Assange on behalf of Sweden for questioning on allegations of "sex crimes." Interpol's spokesman clarified, "if it wasn't for a request from Sweden, we would not have changed the status of his warrant." Initially the notice was marked "restricted" but made public only after Sweden said they should. British police rejected the arrest warrant. A spokeswoman for the Swedish National Police Board told the BBC that Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency had requested a new order as the original one had listed only the maximum penalty for the most serious crime alleged, rather than for all of the crimes. Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny admitted the procedural fault and immediately filed a new detention order.
Ny filed charges of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Assange denies the charges, which his lawyer described as stemming from a "dispute over consensual but unprotected sex", which may constitute rape under the Swedish law. The coincidence of the Interpol notice and European Arrest Warrant on Assange with the United States diplomatic cables leak was subject of commentary by the media. Stephens, said "It is highly irregular and unusual for the Swedish authorities to issue a red notice in the teeth of the undisputed fact that Mr Assange has agreed to meet voluntarily to answer the prosecutor's questions" outside Sweden.
On 5 December 2010, Stephens told The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, that Assange would fight attempts to take him to Sweden over the allegations due to the possibility that it could lead to the Swedish handing him over to the US, where politicians have called for him to be executed.
He was arrested in London by the Metropolitan Police on 7 December by appointment, after a voluntary meeting with the police. Later that day, Assange was refused bail and held in custody on remand. He will be remanded in custody till 14 December.
The issue now is wether either the brits or we swedes will cave in under pressure from the US and have Assange extradited to the US. Technicly, its not possible claims swede expert
Speculations that the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, once in Sweden, is vulnerable to be extradited to other countries, such as the US, are rejected by a Swedish legal expert.
"That requires the approval of the country that carried out the arrest warrant," says Sara Myrdal at the Swedish Prosecution Authority's international unit.
However, from the piratebay trial and information leaked by wikileaks, we know that the US have substantial influence over the workings of our legal system. And in the past we have allowed the CIA to apprehend and take away foreign nationals without objection. If Assange is extradited by the brits to sweden, the only thing that could save him is fear of a public outcry against Sweden and the US
So, do you think Assange will be handed over to the US and what will happen to him then?
Edited by Kaftan Barlast, 08 December 2010 - 09:20 AM.