Julian Assange, founder of the website Wikileaks, was charged with rape in Sweden over the weekend. Then, a few hours later, he wasn’t.
Prosecutors are still considering one warrant for the lesser charge of molestation, and a decision is apparently expected this week.
Molestation under Swedish law can refer to a range of offenses, from groping to inappropriate, non-sexual behavior like disrupting the public order, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The charges stem from Assange’s visit to Sweden earlier this month, where he was looking for help hosting the servers for the Wikileaks website. The website publishes anonymous submissions — most recently thousands of documents related to the war in Afganistan. It was promised to release 15,000 more pages of classified U.S. documents related to the war in Afghanistan in the coming week.
Assange denied the charges in an interview with the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
“What I can say is that I have never, in Sweden or in any country, had sex with anyone in a way that hasn’t been based on voluntariness by both sides,” Assange told the newspaper, according to Bloomberg.
Early on Saturday, Wikileaks warned on its Twitter account that they had been “warned to expect ‘dirty tricks’” and suggested the charges were one of them