Interpol Puts Assange On Most Wanted List

(CNN)

Interpol, at the request of a Swedish court looking into alleged sex crimes from earlier this year, has put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most wanted listed.

The Stockholm Criminal Court two weeks ago issued an international arrest warrant for Assange on probable cause, saying he is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force in August incidents.

Sweden asked Interpol, the international police organization, to post a "Red Notice" after a judge approved a motion to bring him into custody.

The "Red Notice" is not an international arrest warrant. It is an advisory and request, issued to 188 member countries "to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition," according to Interpol.

The Swedish court ordered Assange, 39, formally arrested in his absence, which requires Swedish authorities anywhere in the world to detain Assange if they come across him. Sweden's director of prosecutions, Marianne Ny, had requested the arrest-in-absence.

"The background is that he has to be heard in this investigation and we haven't been able to get a hold of him to question him," Ny said at the time.

Assange faces five counts that appear related to two incidents, according to the request Ny filed with the court.

He faces one count of rape and one count of sexual molestation related to an instance around August 17 in Enkoping, just outside Stockholm. He then faces two counts of sexual molestation between August 13 and 18 in Stockholm, and one count of illegal use of force between August 13 and 14, also in the capital.