Assange runs into more problems in Sweden

Julian Assange has been denied a Swedish residence and work permit.

As one of the founders and the editor-in-chief of whistleblower site Wikileaks, Assange applied for the permit in August, since he needed it to become a legally responsible publisher of the site and to be able to better defend the site’s sources.

Only two days after he did that, he has been accused rape and molestation of two Swedish women. At the time, he was staying in the country and was delivering a series of lectures. An arrest warrant was issued for Assange, then withdrawn the very next day. The case and the investigation was reopened again shortly after that and is still ongoing, but he is allowed to leave the country if he wishes to do so.

Whether or not these charges influenced the board deciding on the permits is unknown as they refuse to comment on the rejection of the application, but it is very likely that it has. According to The Local, Assange has been notified of their decision via regular mail and e-mail.

Assange still maintains that the charges are bogus and that they are part of a deliberate smear campaign mounted by the U.S. Government, because Wikileaks is set to make public some 400,000 secret military reports concerning the war in Iraq.