As­sange vows Wik­iLeaks to stay strong de­spite new blow

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

ELLING­HAM: Wik­iLeaks founder Ju­lian As­sange said the site will stay strong de­spite an­other blow to its fund­ing and the pub­li­ca­tion Sun­day of new de­tails of the sex crime al­le­ga­tions against him.

The Aus­tralian be­gan his third full day un­der "man­sion ar­rest" at a friend's house while he fights ex­tra­di­tion to Swe­den, vow­ing that the whistle­blow­ing web­site would con­tinue to pub­lish more se­cre US diplo­matic ca­bles.

As­sange on Satur­day de­nounced Bank of Amer­ica, the largest US bank, for be­com­ing the lat­est in­sti­tu­tion to halt fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions for Wik­ileaks af­ter MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and oth­ers.

The bank said its de­ci­sion was "based upon our rea­son­able be­lief that Wik­iLeaks may be en­gaged in ac­tiv­i­ties that are, among other things, in­con­sis­tent with our in­ter­nal poli­cies for pro­cess­ing pay­ments."

"It's a new type of busi­ness McCarthy­ism in the US to de­prive this or­gan­i­sa­tion of the funds that it needs to sur­vive, to de­prive me per­son­ally of the funds that my lawyers need to pro­tect me against ex­tra­di­tion to the US or to Swe­den," As­sange told AFP.

The term was coined to de­scribe the anti-com­mu­nist pur­suits of for­mer US sen­a­tor Joseph McCarthy from the late 1940s to the 1950s.

As­sange is stay­ing at Elling­ham Hall, the man­sion in east­ern Eng­land of jour­nal­ist friend Vaughan Smith, as part of the con­di­tions of bail, which he was granted by London's High Court on Thurs­day.

He must also re­port daily to a nearby po­lice sta­tion and wear an elec­tronic tag.

Sev­eral news­pa­pers pub­lished lurid new de­tails of the al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault against two women, over which Swedish pros­e­cu­tors want to ques­tion him. The 39year-old de­nies the charges.

The Guardian news­pa­per­which has co­op­er­ated with Wik­iLeaks on the pub­li­ca­tion of the US doc­u­ments-and the Mail on Sun­day both re­ported that the two women with whom he had sex in Swe­den had gone to po­lice af­ter he re­fused to take an HIV test. As­sange hit out at Swedish han­dling of the case, ac­cus­ing au­thor­i­ties there of leak­ing fresh de­tails about the case that even he and his de­fence lawyers have not had ac­cess to. -Afp

BEI­JING: A shop­per passes an art dis­play in a The Vil­lage shop­ping mall in Bei­jing. China's gross do­mes­tic prod­uct will ex­ceed 37 tril­lion yuan in 2010, a top govern­ment think tank pre­dicted, as Bei­jing looks to over­take Ja­pan as the world's sec­ond-largest econ­omy for the full year. -Ap

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