Assange’s 75 complaints over “negative media coverage"

Assange itemized the complaints in a submission to Britain`s judge-led inquiry into media ethics.

London: WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange has made 75 official complaints over what he describes as the shoddy reporting of his long-running extradition battle, the online activist said Thursday.

Assange itemized the complaints in a submission to Britain`s judge-led inquiry into media ethics, which is examining the standards and practices of the country`s scandal-tarred press.

He said in a statement published by the inquiry Thursday that he had been subjected to "ongoing, widespread inaccurate and negative media coverage" and that Britain`s press watchdog had failed to protect him.

Assange has had a tumultuous relationship with many in the mainstream media, particularly The New York Times and Britain`s Guardian newspaper, to which he leaked a mass of confidential US secret documents before releasing them online.

He`s accused many journalists of lazy, inaccurate reporting and of being complicit with authority figures. Unflattering profiles in the media have in turn depicted the former computer hacker as imperious and arrogant.

The 75 complaints listed by Assange related to articles suggesting that he`d been charged with sex crimes in Sweden, which is seeking his extradition.

Assange is accused of sex crimes, but has not been charged. The 40-year-old Australian denies wrongdoing.

The British media inquiry, headed by Lord Justice Brian Leveson, is putting the spotlight on press misbehavior following the eruption of the scandal over the shuttered News of the World, where journalists routinely broke the law to get stories. Many of the inquiry`s witnesses have attacked Britain`s Press Complaints Commission as toothless and ineffective.

The much-criticized body is in the process of shutting down to be replaced by a new regulator.

IANS

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