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Assange Negotiating With U.K. Police Over Swedish Rape Case

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website that leaked thousands of classified U.S. military and State Department documents, is in negotiations with U.K. police over a Swedish rape charge, his lawyer said.

Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, negotiated with London’s Metropolitan Police yesterday and may do so again today, said Mark Stephens, Assange’s U.K. lawyer.

“I expect them to resume today,” Stephens said in an e-mail. Assange denies the allegations, he said. Stephens, of the firm Finers Stephens Innocent LLP in London, regularly represents several media organizations, including Bloomberg News.

A Swedish court on Nov. 19 approved an arrest warrant for Assange on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, paving the way for an international search. An appeals court upheld the warrant while reducing the case to a “less serious” rape charge. On Dec. 2, the Supreme Court rejected Assange’s request to review the case.

WikiLeaks, created in 2006, drew condemnation from the U.S. for posting thousands of classified State Department documents on its website. WikiLeaks.org receives confidential material and posts the information on the Internet “so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth,” the organization says on its website.

U.K. police declined to comment today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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