Interpol on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over rape allegations.
The France-based international police organisation issued a "red notice" for Assange - the equivalent of putting him on its most-wanted list - after Sweden issued an arrest warrant for him as part of a drawn-out rape investigation.
Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, went to Sweden in August seeking to stay because his website servers are in the country.
However, his application was denied in October. During his stay, he was accused of allegedly raping and molesting two women.
Assange, a former computer hacker whose whereabouts are unknown, has denied the allegations. He said the allegations are a smear campaign by the Pentagon against him because he released thousands of classified US war reports from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Court documents filed by prosecutors allege that Assange is suspected of raping and sexually molesting a woman in the town of Enkoping. He also was suspected of the sexual molestation and unlawful coercion of a second woman in Stockholm.
The two women attended a seminar held by Assange and six days later, they both launched the allegations, the court document said.
A Stockholm prosecutor immediately started a rape investigation, but the case was dropped the next day.
WikiLeaks has recently published an unprecedented 400 000 classified US documents on the Iraq war and posted 77 000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July. - BuaNews