Swedish court opens hearing on Julian Assange rape claim

A Swedish court has opened a hearing over a request that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be detained in absentia on suspicion of rape.

Deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told the Uppsala district court on Monday that she wanted Assange detained on suspicion of raping a woman in her sleep during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

Assange's Swedish defence lawyer, Per E Samuelson, said his client denied the allegation and wanted the hearings to be held in open court, local media reported from the court.

The judge ruled that details concerning the alleged rape were to be held behind closed doors, and cleared the court.

AAP

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