WikiLeaks Founder Arrested in Britain

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LONDON -- London police have arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on a Swedish warrant.

He's been hiding in Britain since releasing hundreds of classified U.S. diplomatic cables through the Internet last week. Amid legal, financial and technical pressures targeting the site, Assange is also facing an investigation of alleged sex crimes in Sweden.

He's accused of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion in two separate cases. Assange denies the allegations and his lawyer says they stem from a "dispute over consensual but unprotected sex." The lawyer also says the women involved only came forward after becoming aware of each other's relationships with Assange.

The lawyers also suggest the prosecution is being manipulated for political reasons.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has less and less room to maneuver. Its website has been hit by attacks and cut off by Internet service providers, and it's had its funding channels squeezed.

In the latest development, Swiss authorities have closed Assange's bank account. And the technology news website CNET reports that MasterCard has pulled the plug on payments to the site.

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