WikiLeaks founder wants detention order vacated

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Nov. 24, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.

WikiLeaks founder and chief editor Julian Assange plans to ask Sweden’s highest court to overturn a lower court decision ordering him detained for questioning, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Earlier, a Swedish appeals court upheld the Stockholm district court’s order to detain Assange for questioning over allegations of rape, sexual molestation and coercion. The court cited a risk that Assange “departs or evades prosecution or punishment.”

Wednesday’s ruling means the international order for Assange’s arrest will stand. It was issued last week on the basis of the district court’s decision.

Assange’s lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, said he will file a second appeal, this time to Sweden’s supreme court.

“Personally, I have a hard time understanding what the prosecutor ( Marianne Ny)  thinks she will obtain by having my client detained,” Hurtig told Dow Jones Newswires.

Assange, an Australian, denies the allegations, which stem from his encounter with two women during a trip to Sweden this year. He hasn’t been detained and his lawyers haven’t disclosed his whereabouts.

His lawyer in the U.K., Mark Stephens, previously said his client was in London as recently as last Thursday.

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