Monday Jan 16, 201709:56 PM GMT
WikiLeaks facing financial transparency questions
Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:29PM
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Julian Assange

WikiLeaks website which releases materials with the motto of "Keeping Governments Open," has increasingly come under scrutiny for lack of transparency regarding large amounts of money.

WikiLeaks, which says its operating costs are about $200,000 (£125,000) a year, claims to have raised more than $1 million (£625,000) in donations in the first eight months of this year alone, before most of its highest- profile leaks were published.

Since then, according to one person connected with the group, further "serious amounts of money" have come in, mostly in small sums through the WikiLeaks website. However, in its four-year existence, the group and its associated organizations have never produced any accounts.

WikiLeaks promised to publish accounts in August, but did not do so. Daily Telegraph

Israeli sources are believed to be among those providing large sums of money to WikiLeaks.

An Israeli-born investigative journalist has found evidence that WikiLeaks "struck a deal with Israel," based on which the websites founder Julian Assange would withhold cables incriminating Israel in exchange for money.

Lia Abramovitch -- an Israeli investigative Journalist born to holocaust-survivor parents -- who writes for Syriatruth website, cites former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg as her source.

Domscheit-Berg says Assange had received money from semi-official Israeli sources and promised them, in a “secret, video-recorded agreement.”

After failing to meed the August deadline WikiLeaks now says it will release its financial information by the end of the year.

Jeff Patterson, of the Bradley Manning Support Network, which is handling Pte Manning's legal defence, said: "From July, WikiLeaks publicly solicited donations specifically for Bradley's defence expenses, and I assume people did donate.

They led us to believe they would make a substantial contribution in September. Since then we have had perhaps half a dozen conversations trying to follow up with them but we have not yet received any money."

Mr Patterson told WikiLeaks in July that the defence would cost $100,000 (£65,000). "They said at the time they would split it with us," he said. Last week, he said, WikiLeaks finally promised to pay, but only $20,000 (£12,500.)

"They told us on Thursday that nobody has signed off on it yet, but they expect it to happen soon," he said. "We're definitely going to be able to use $20,000, but it's less than we hoped for." Daily Telegraph
WikiLeaks was founded by Julian Assange in 2006 with the motto of "keep governments open." It describes its objectives as bringing "important news and information to the public."

The site claims it has released more than 1.2 million documents so far and is preparing to release more than two million other documents.

WikiLeaks most important release is arguably a video showing US troops aboard a helicopter opening fire on unarmed Iraqi civilians – including Reuters cameramen.

In May 2010, WikiLeaks said they had video footage of a massacre of civilians in Afghanistan by the U.S. military which they were preparing to release.

In a 2009 Computer World interview, Assange claimed to be in possession of "5GB from Bank of America" documents to be released in 2011.

In December 2010, Assange's lawyer, Mark Stephens, told The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, that WikiLeaks had information that it considers to be a "thermo-nuclear device" which it would release if the organization needs to defend itself.

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