Now, Wikileaks suffering its own ‘financial’ leaks

Monday, December 13, 2010

LONDON - Whistle blowing web site Wikileaks is now facing questions over its finances, as lawyers for its alleged main source, Private Bradley Manning, said they had not seen a penny of tens of thousands of dollars raised by the site to help pay for his defence and promised to them three months ago.

According to The Telegraph, the latest development comes after a senior WikiLeaks activist said that she and others had resigned from the organization because of their deep concern about its treatment of sources and “lack of transparency with relation to large sums of money”.

This newspaper has learned that one of WikiLeaks’s main funding channels, the Germany-based Wau Holland Foundation, has been issued with two official warnings by charity regulators after failing to file financial records.

It has also emerged that the online payment service PayPal, which last week cut off donations to WikiLeaks, suspended the site’s account twice before, once under money laundering regulations.

WikiLeaks, which says its operating costs are about 200,000 dollars annually, claims to have raised more than a million dollars 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. It now says it will provide them by the end of the year.

Much of Wikileaks’s money goes through the Wau Holland Foundation, named after a former computer hacker and based in Kassel, Germany.

WikiLeaks was unavailable for comment. But Gavin MacFadyen, visiting professor of journalism at London’s City University and a friend and supporter of Mr Assange, said that the critics constituted “four or five people out of around 500″ who have worked with WikiLeaks. (ANI)

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