Sweden's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a court order to detain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual molestation.
The 39-year-old Australian, who denies the accusations made by two Swedish women after his visit to the country in August, had appealed two lower court rulings allowing investigators to bring him into custody and issue an international arrest warrant.
He has not been formally charged.
WikiLeaks has angered the U.S. and other governments by publishing almost half a million secret documents about U.S. diplomatic relations and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The search for Assange, whose whereabouts is unknown, was stepped up Wednesday as Sweden confirmed it had issued a European arrest warrant for him. Since leaving Sweden, the computer hacker has appeared in Britain and Switzerland but disappeared from public view after a Nov. 5 press conference in Geneva.