Internet activist Julian Assange is being sought in connection with a rape case that has been under investigation in Sweden for three months, and Swedish authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Assange is the founder and chief editor of the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, which has made a name for itself by publishing U.S. military documents and posting video related to U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, among other revelations. The site has won numerous awards, including Amnesty International’s UK Media Award and Economist magazine’s New Media Award.
Assange is wanted for allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. The charges are reportedly related to encounters he had with two women earlier this year while he was in Sweden.
An attorney for Assange issued a statement indicating the rape charge is based on claims that arose only after the two women–with whom Assange had consensual sex, according to his attorney–learned of each other’s relationship.
Assange was reportedly in London as recently as Thursday morning. The arrest warrant was placed in the Schengen Information System, meaning it is in the Interpol database and is available in 27 European countries, the story reports.
"I have submitted an appeal to the Stockholm district court. The appeal will be transferred to the court of appeal for review," Assange’s Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig told Dow Jones Newswires. "I expect a decision from the court of appeal in the next couple of days."