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Friday, December 24, 2010

WikiLeaks Low on Funds

Julian Assange thinks there will be an attempt to influence UK political opinion about him and that the final word on his fate will be up to Prime Minister, David Cameron. Although there is no evidence that the US is ready to indict him, he thinks the Obama administration is "trying to strike a plea deal" with 23 year old Bradley Manning, who is in jail and believed to be the source of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables. The US attorney general Eric Holder wants to indict Assange as a co-conspirator.

WikiLeaks does not have enough money to pay its legal bills. Even though a lot of generous lawyers have donated their time, legal costs for WikiLeaks and Assange's own defence were approaching $1,000,000. The decision of Visa, MasterCard and PayPal to stop processing donations has really hurt and cost the website around $100,000 which would have kept them going for another six months. At one stage, the website was receiving donations of $200,000 a day.

A $500,000 advance on a book about his life story will pay off his personal defence fund which is currently "paralysed". The book will be published in the spring by Knopf in the US and Canongate in the UK. He said that if US were successful in removing him from the UK or Sweden, there was a good chance he would be killed "Jack-Ruby style" in the US prison system.