3 December 2010 Last updated at 13:51
Wikileaks forced to change domainMr Assange has dismissed the allegations against him as part of a smear campaignContinue reading the main story
UK authorities "imminently" expect an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the BBC understands.
Swedish prosecutors drew up a second European Arrest Warrant, after the first was rejected on legal grounds.
Mr Assange, who has helped release thousands of secret files, is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sex crimes although no charges have been laid.
The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), which processes European Arrest Warrants, declined to comment.
Detectives in Sweden want to question Mr Assange after two women claimed they were sexually attacked when he visited the country in August.
The Swedish Supreme Court has upheld a court order to detain Mr Assange.
Mr Assange - reported to be staying at a secret address in the UK - denies the allegations and has vowed to fight them in court, saying they are part of a smear campaign against him.Continue reading the main story
The Main Leaks So Far
- Fears that terrorists may acquire Pakistani nuclear material
- Several Arab leaders urged attack on Iran over nuclear issue
- US instructs spying on key UN officials
- China's changing relationship with North Korea
- Yemen approved US strikes on militants
- Personal and embarrassing comments on world leaders
- Afghan leader Hamid Karzai freed dangerous detainees
- Russia is a "virtual mafia state" with widespread corruption and bribery
- Afghan President Hamid Karzai is "paranoid and weak"
- Comments on the extent of alleged corruption in Afghanistan
His British lawyer Mark Stephens told the BBC's Today programme that the police knew where Mr Assange was living if they needed to get in touch with him.
He said his client was in a "bizarre situation" where he had tried to seek a meeting with the Swedish prosecutor to discuss the charges against him, but had been rebuffed.
"If the prosecutor had any concern for the women making the complaints, any concern about truth or justice, she would pick up the phone and get in touch with Julian - she knows how to do it."
The original Stockholm district court arrest warrant for Mr Assange issued on 18 November was for suspicion of "rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion".
A Swedish appeals court later upheld the detention order and the Supreme Court backed that ruling.
According to Swedish police, Soca requested a new warrant because the original listed only the maximum penalty for the most serious crime alleged, rather than for all of the crimes.
Once the European Arrest Warrant is received by Soca, officers will check it and pass it on to local police, who will serve it on Mr Assange.'Beyond repair'
Mr Stephens has said his client will challenge the warrant in court on the grounds that the process has been "utterly irregular".
The warrant, valid in all EU member states, requires the receiving member state to arrest and extradict the suspect within 90 days of arrest, or within 10 days if the arrested person consents to surrender.
The warrant can only be issued for offences carrying a maximum penalty of 12 months or more.
Mr Assange's legal battle comes as some 250,000 US diplomatic secret messages - or cables - were released by Wikileaks, to the embarrassment of governments and politicians all over the world.
The latest cables released on Friday suggest that Gordon Brown's premiership was written off as almost "beyond repair" by the US embassy in London after less than a year.
Friday, 3 December 2010
BBC News - Wikileaks: Arrest of founder Julian Assange 'imminent'