STOCKHOLM – The elusive Australian behind the biggest leak of U.S. war documents in history is wanted by Sweden in a drawn-out rape probe, and could soon face an international arrest warrant curtailing his ability to jump from one country to another.

A Swedish court Thursday approved a motion to bring Julian Assange, the 39-year-old founder of WikiLeaks, into custody for questioning. The decision paves the way for prosecutors to seek his arrest abroad through Interpol.

Assange, whose whereabouts are unknown, is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. He has denied the allegations, which stem from his encounters with two women during a visit to Sweden in August.

His attorney in Britain, Mark Stephens, said Assange had consensual sex with both women, who then turned on him after becoming aware of each other’s relationships.

The irregular evolution of the case, in which prosecutors of different ranks have overruled each other, has sparked questions about Sweden’s legal system and conspiracy theories about intelligence agencies seeking to silence and discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

The site has published almost 500,000 secret U.S. documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Governments and some of Assange’s own colleagues have denounced him for releasing Afghan documents that contained the names of Afghan intelligence sources for NATO forces, saying that could place the sources’ lives at risk.

After the sex charges first appeared in August, Assange was quoted by a Swedish tabloid as saying he’d been warned that the Pentagon planned to use dirty tricks to spoil things for WikiLeaks.

The team behind WikiLeaks is small. Assange has no permanent address and travels frequently – jumping from one friend’s place to the next, occasionally disappearing 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.