Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, is expected to be arrested in the coming days after Swedish prosecutors filed a new warrant with British authorities.
The Independent revealed yesterday that a procedural error with the European Arrest Warrant had delayed the arrest of the 39-year-old Australian, who is wanted in Sweden over sexual allegations but has been living in England since October. Police in Gothenburg claim they have now submitted a fresh warrant to the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Police sources have previously said that they received a letter from Mr Assange's UK lawyer Mark Stephens containing information about how to contact Mr Assange should they need to.
Details of the new warrant came as an attempt to have the allegations dropped failed. Sweden's highest court upheld the order and refused to let him appeal against a lower court's ruling.
Last night Mr Assange's family spoke of their fears for his safety after increasingly shrill statements from American commentators who have called for his assassination.
His mother, Christine Assange, said “the forces that he's challenging are too big”. The arrest warrant filed with Soca states that he was wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.
Last night Mr Stephens said he would challenge any arrest in British courts. “The process in this case has been so utterly irregular that the chances of a valid arrest warrant being submitted to me are very small,” he said.