STOCKHOLM – Swedish authorities revoked a short-lived arrest warrant for the founder of WikiLeaks on Saturday, saying that a rape accusation against him lacked substance.

Julian Assange, 39, who was believed to be in Sweden, remained under suspicion of a lesser crime of molestation in a separate case, prosecutors said.

The nomadic Australian dismissed the allegations in a statement on WikiLeaks’ Twitter page, saying “the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.”

WikiLeaks is preparing to release of a fresh batch of classified U.S. documents from the Afghan war, despite warnings from the Pentagon that they could endanger American soldiers and their Afghan helpers.

A Stockholm prosecutor issued the arrest warrant Friday, saying Assange was suspected of rape and molestation in two separate cases. But chief prosecutor Eva Finne withdrew the warrant within 24 hours.

“I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” Finne said.

Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said Assange remains suspected of molestation, a less serious charge that would not lead to an arrest warrant.

“The prosecutor hasn’t made a decision” on that count, she said. “The investigation continues.”

Molestation covers a wide of range of offenses under Swedish law, including inappropriate physical contact with another adult, and can result in fines or up to one year in prison.

Assange was in Sweden last week seeking legal protection for WikiLeaks, which angered the Obama administration by publishing thousands of leaked documents about U.S. military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon has demanded that WikiLeaks return all leaked documents and remove them from the Internet.

Assange has no permanent address and travels frequently, jumping from one friend’s place to the next. He disappears from public view for months at a time, only to reappear in the full glare of the cameras at packed news conferences to discuss his site’s latest disclosure.