WikiLeaks founder's lawyers 'named women in rape case'

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Julian Assange's legal team has been criticised for inadvertently naming two women who claim he sexually assaulted them.

Solicitors acting for the 39-year-old WikiLeaks founder included the details in legal documents posted on their website.

It was intended for reporters but ended up being circulated widely on the internet, with at least one national newspaper posting a link to it. Katrin Axelsson of Women Against Rape said that the right of victims to remain anonymous is as crucial as a defendant's right to be presumed innocent.

Mark Stephens, who represents Assange, said the names were removed after he realised the document was being circulated beyond the media. He said: "The person who made the decision to name the women was Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor. She put their names in the European Arrest Warrant, which is a public document, and she could have anonymised them."