Wikileaks founder Assange arrested by British police

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Wikileaks
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks at a news conference in London in this July 26, 2010 file photo.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was arrested on Tuesday in relation to a Swedish sex-crime case, the London Metropolitan Police said.

Interpol, the international police agency, had issued a 'red notice' last week for Assange, who had been hiding out in an undisclosed location till recently. The notice is not equivalent of an arrest warrant, but he was charged with sex crimes and was put on the 'wanted' list.

Assange was wanted by the Swedish police for questioning over rape allegations of two women, an allegation he has denied.

Fox News reported that Assange had planned to surrender to the British police on Tuesday.

Assange, who founded Wikileaks in 2006, has been in the media eye after his website recently leaked American diplomatic cables.

The leaks received mixed reactions, with some U.S. diplomats and politicians calling for the website to be classified as terrorist. The government stated that the leaks had endangered the lives of several people working for the U.S. in a secure basis and living overseas.

However, other media reports stated that the Swiss authorities closed Assange's bank account, and MasterCard stopped payments to the Wikileaks site.

Though the arrest is independent to the Wikileaks controversy, some media reports state that Assange and his lawyers believe the prosecution is being manipulated for political reasons.

Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland stated last week that the government would not stop Assange from returning home and that he could also seek consular assistance overseas.

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