The District Court in Stockholm has decided to detain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and issuing an international arrest warrant is the next step, according to a statement from the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
The District Court said it decided on Thursday to detain Assange, "on probable cause suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion."
To execute the court's decision, the next step is to issue an international arrest warrant, according to the statement.
The decision to detain Assange came in response to a request from Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny. She wants Assange to be interrogated, and investigators have not been able to meet with him. Therefore, Ny had to ask the District Court to detain him, according to Ny, who doesn't know Assange's location.
A first arrest warrant stemming from the rape charges was issued for Assange in August, but after a change of prosecutor, it was quickly withdrawn. A few days later the rape charges were dropped. However, when Ny, director of prosecution, took over the case, she decided to reopen the investigation.
Assange has denied any wrongdoing. It is disproportionate to detain him after he has been at large for so long, Assange's lawyer Björn Hurtig said, according to Svenska Dagbladet.
Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, Ny declined to disclose information concerning the case or how the investigation has been conducted.