London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has accused “right wing” American politicians and “extremists” of handing his whistle blowing website an "economic death penalty”.
Assange accused ‘crazed’ Independent Senator Joe Lieberman and Republican congressman Peter King of pressuring companies into blocking funds to his whistle-blowing website.
Visa and MasterCard were among several payment firms who instigated the crippling “banking blockade” shortly after WikLeaks published over 250,000 confidential State Department cables in December 2010.
Assange, 41, admitted the blockade had cost the website over 30 million pounds in lost donations, wiped out 95 per cent of its revenue and forced its staff to take pay cuts of up to 40 per cent.
It had also reduced the volume of leaked documents it publicly released through its website, he added.
He was speaking to British media organizations from inside the Ecuador’s London embassy, Assange claimed that any “association with WikiLeaks’ resulted in an “economic death penalty,” the Telegraph reports.
According to the paper, Assange admitted the website now faced a “financially difficult” situation, but denied there was “danger” it would result in it closing down.
He accused Senator Lieberman, a former Democratic vice presidential nominee, and King, the chair of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, of having inappropriate “conservations” with the credit card organizations, the paper said.