WikiLeaks losing half a million euros a week: Assange

Several banks or payment systems have terminated business with the website in recent weeks.

Updated: Jan 11, 2011, 00:30 AM IST

Geneva: Whistleblower website WikiLeaks
has been losing some half a million euros a week since it
began publishing confidential US cables, the founder of the
site Julian Assange said in an interview appearing on Monday.

When asked about the pressure put on him over the
website`s move, Assange told Swiss newspapers Tribune de
Geneve and 24 Heures: "From a personal point of view, no. I
would say that the pressure reinforces my determination.

"But from a financial point of view, it`s another

"We have been losing more than 600,000 francs (481,068
euros, USD 620,053) a week since the start of the publication
of the diplomatic cables. To continue our business, we would
need to find a way or other to get this money back," he added.

There was no explanation of why Wikileaks was losing
money with the publication, but several banks or payment
systems have terminated business with the website in recent

The Australian is on bail in Britain facing
extradition proceedings to Sweden on charges of sexual
assault. The date of his trial is to be fixed during a hearing
on Tuesday in London.

Media reports suggest that US prosecutors are also
trying to build a case against him on the grounds that he
encouraged a US soldier, Bradley Manning, to steal cables from
a government computer and pass them to WikiLeaks.

Assange had also acknowledged during a December
interview to Britain`s Sunday Times that financial
difficulties had pushed him to sign more than one million
pounds (1.2 million euros, USD 1.55 million) in deals for his

He denied having already received this sum.
"Contrary to what has been said, I have not
received 1.1 million pounds to write my autobiography. I would
get 1.1 million pounds in a couple of years` time if my book
became a success," he told the Swiss newspapers.