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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Cleared of Sex Charge in Sweden

5 years ago
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Julian Assange, the head of a website that posted 76,900 secret Afghan war documents, was formally cleared of sex abuse charges in Sweden Wednesday, ending a puzzling chain of events that started last weekend when a Swedish prosecutor issued a warrant for his arrest -- then withdrew it.

In a separate incident, Assange, 39, the founder of WikiLeaks, is accused of molesting a woman on Aug. 13, but molestation is not a sex crime in Swedish law, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority told the Associated Press. It covers a range of offenses, from reckless conduct to inappropriate physical contact with another adult.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Chief prosecutor Eva Finne officially closed the other case in which a woman had accused Assange, an Australian national, of rape. Finne said "there is no suspicion of a crime" -- rape or any other offense.

Assange and WikiLeaks suggested the accusations were part of a smear campaign as the website prepares to post more classified documents. The AP said Assange even singled out the U.S. Defense Department, which has said the recent publishing of documents could imperil U.S. troops and their Afghan supporters. Defense spokesman Geoff Morrell called the claims of Pentagon involvement "absurd," and a lawyer representing the two women in Sweden said their charges had nothing to do with any "smear campaigns."

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks posted what it called an internal CIA report, exploring the notion that the United States exports terrorism, but the spy agency did not appear much alarmed by the document, dated Feb. 2, 2010. CIA spokesman George Little told CNN, "these sorts of analytic products -- clearly identified as coming from the agency's 'Red Cell' -- are designed to simply provoke thought and present different points of view."

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