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Rape Case against WikiLeaks Founder Dismissed

A Swedish prosecutor said Wednesday she will continue investigating an accusation of molestation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange but formally dismissed another case that was initially labeled a suspected rape.

Assange has denied both allegations.

After reviewing information from an interrogation with the woman who had filed the rape complaint, chief prosecutor Eva Finne said she decided that there were no grounds to suspect Assange of any type of crime in that case.

On Saturday, Finne withdrew an arrest warrant for Assange issued by another prosecutor and said he was no longer suspected of rape. However, she continued investigating the case to see whether there were grounds to suspect the Australian of lesser crimes, including molestation or sexual molestation.

"But I find in my analysis that this is not the case," Finne said in a statement Wednesday.

In the other case, which involved a different woman, Finne said the "suspicion of molestation remains" and that Assange would be questioned in the investigation.

Molestation covers a wide range of offenses under Swedish law, including inappropriate physical contact with another adult, and can result in fines or up to one year in prison.

Assange was in Sweden last week seeking legal protection for WikiLeaks, which angered the Obama administration by publishing thousands of leaked documents about U.S. military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The whistle-blower site is preparing to release a fresh batch of classified U.S. documents from the Afghan war, despite warnings from the Pentagon that they could endanger American soldiers and their Afghan helpers.

Assange's Swedish lawyer, Leif Silbersky, said his client rejects the "nasty claims" made against him.

"He maintains with emphasis that he hasn't done anything either morally or legally wrong," Silbersky told The Associated Press before Wednesday's decision was announced.

He also said he was "very critical" of how the prosecution had handled the case, including the fact that they publicly named Assange.

Finne told The Associated Press she reversed the arrest warrant because she had access to more information than the on-call prosecutor who issued it.

Finne wouldn't say what kind of information this was, but said the woman had not withdrawn her complaint.

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