STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish prosecutor requested a court order Thursday to detain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.
Assange has denied the allegations, which stem from his encounters with two women during a visit to Sweden in August.
The Stockholm District Court was to rule on the request later Thursday. The move could mean that prosecutors are preparing an international arrest warrant for the Australian, whose whereabouts were not immediately clear.
"The reason for my request is that we need to interrogate him," Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny said in a statement. "So far, we have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogation."
WikiLeaks has angered the Pentagon by releasing thousands of classified U.S. war reports from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Assange had considered setting up a base for WikiLeaks in Sweden, where some of its servers are located, but Swedish immigration authorities denied him a residence permit.
Investigators have released few details about the allegations against Assange, though a police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that both women had met him in connection with a seminar he gave in Stockholm on Aug. 14. The report shows the women filed their complaints together six days later.
Assange has complained that he and his group are being targeted and persecuted by intelligence agencies from the United States and elsewhere who are angry over the leaks of secret military documents.
(This version CORRECTS title of prosecutor)
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