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WikiLeaks suing insider over tell-all book

WikiLeaks said Thursday it was taking legal action against a former employee who wrote a tell-all book about the website’s founder Julian Assange, questioning the ex-ally’s “integrity and stability.”

The threat came as Daniel Domscheit-Berg held a press conference in Berlin on the eve of the release of Inside WikiLeaks, a warts-and-all account of his time as chief programmer and media spokesman for the whistleblowing site.

“WikiLeaks has been taking legal action against former employee, Daniel Domscheit-Berg who was suspended from the organisation in September,” current WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said in an emailed statement to AFP.

“The reasons for these actions will gradually become clear, but some are hinted at by extracts from Domscheit-Berg’s book.

“In the book Domscheit-Berg confesses to various acts of sabotage against the organisation. The former WikiLeaks staffer admits to having damaged the site’s primary submission system and stolen material.”

Hrafnsson alleged Domscheit-Berg’s actions led to an “overhaul of the entire submission system” used by whistleblowers to supply WikiLeaks with documents.

Domscheit-Berg and others left the website in September.

His book says WikiLeaks is “chaotic” and cannot protect its sources, and accuses the “power-obsessed” Assange of betraying the site’s founding ideals.

He describes the 39-year-old Australian as “brilliant” but “paranoid” and even says Assange abused Domscheit-Berg’s cat.

Hrafnsson however accused Domscheit-Berg of falsely representing his status within the organisation, saying he had only been WikiLeaks’ spokesman in Germany.

“It should be noted that Domscheit-Berg’s roles within WikiLeaks were limited and started to diminish almost a year ago as his integrity and stability were questioned,” Hrafnsson said.

“He is not a founder or co-founder and nor was there any contact with him during the founding years. He did not even have an email address with the organisation until 2008 (we launched in December 2006).

“His accounts of the crucial times in WikiLeaks history since April last year are therefore based upon limited information or malicious falsifications,” Hrafnsson added. – AFP