Rape Warrant for Wikileaks Founder Withdrawn

A quick flip-flop from Swedish authorities on a very serious charge.

Via the AP:  Sweden withdraws warrant for WikiLeaks founder

Swedish prosecutors withdrew an arrest warrant for the founder of WikiLeaks on Saturday, saying less than a day after the document was issued that it was based on an unfounded accusation of rape.

They said that for the moment Julian Assange remains suspected of the lesser crime of molestation in a separate case.


“I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” chief prosecutor Eva Finne said, in announcing the withdrawal of the warrant.

Considering news of the warrant just came out, it would seem that someone jumped the gun issuing it in the first place.  I have almost no opinion concerning Assange,* but it doesn’t take one to state that a rape allegation is quite serious and one would like to think that law enforcement would have their act together in terms of issuing a warrant, especially regarding someone for whom said warrant will be international news.

It is unclear to me what “molestation” means in this context, as in an American legal context it makes one’s mind leap to child molestation, but the treatment in the AP story (and other stories I have heard to this point in the day) don’t seem to be treating it as such.


*And yes, I know that bloggers are allegedly supposed to have instant deep (and, of course, utterly correct) opinions about everything, I will reserve any definitive statements about Assange or even Wikileaks, as it is one of the things for which I only have passing information at the moment and therefore have not formed a fully informed opinion as yet.

FILED UNDER: Crime, US Politics, World Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Steven: Actually, forming an opinion on Assange doesn’t require any long, in-depth thinking processes. Most folk can smell a traitor a mile away.

  2. DC Loser says:

    A traitor to whom? He’s not a US citizen.

  3. Of course, you can be sure that he will be constantly referred to as “accused rapist Assange” by the usual suspects now.

  4. wr says:

    Let’s see, Scott Rittter pointed out the US government was lying about WMD in Iraq and he was charged with child molestation. Now this. But I’m sure there’s no connection at all.

  5. Eric Florack says:

    I see I’m not alone in thinking the charge was a setup… and likely pushed by Washington backrooms.

  6. Jay Dubbs says:

    I assue that you have turned in your official blogger uniform (pajamas, natch) for failing to have a definitive opinion on any issue.

    What a failure.

  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    This stinks of some kind of setup. I wonder whose behind it? No doubt we’ll find out. I hope it no one we know.

  8. Brummagem Joe says:

    “doesn’t require any long, in-depth thinking processes.”


  9. mattt says:

    I recall that in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, a number of officers who said the wrong things about the Iraq war or Rummy’s plan to remake the military were accused of various sex charges. As i recall, many or most of the charges were found to be groundless.

  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    Yup, this guy doesn’t look like he could rape a sock, but then again he kinda looks like he wants to…….