Swedes order Assange molestation probe

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Swedes order Assange molestation probe

Investigation into Wikileaks founder.

Sweden's chief prosecutor Eva Finné has given the go ahead for investigators to interrogate Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange over allegations that he molested a woman.

Two women filed a complaint that triggered Assange's arrest warrant last Saturday - one a case of alleged rape, the other of alleged molestation.

Prosecutors swiftly dropped the rape charge, but Finne today kept open a case of alleged molestation, according to Swedish national newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet.

Finne said she did not wish to cast doubt on the accounts of the two women. But after viewing their statements, she could not find anything to support allegations of rape or molestation. 

The lawyer representing the two women, Claes Borgström, plans to appeal the decision to drop the rape charge.  

"It is quite clear to me that both cases involved sexual molestation," he said. 

Leif Silbersky, a prominent Swedish defence lawyer hired to defend Assange, said that a prosecutor that told media last Saturday of the charge against Assange was guilty of misconduct.  

"A skilled prosecutor could take the view that this would not be either rape or sexual molestation," he said. 

"[Assange] has been stigmatised worldwide as a rapist, one of the worst crimes we know. This has caused enormous damage to my client."

Assange, a former Australian journalist, was responsible for releasing a large sum of classified U.S. military documents to newspapers around the world.

Assange has claimed that Australian intelligence warned him in early August to expect a smear campaign to be launched against him.  

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