Assange: WikiLeaks could shut down in weeks

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — The founder of WikiLeaks says the website could have to shut down within weeks.

Julian Assange says the online anti-secrecy organization hasn't been able to shake the restrictions that U.S. financial companies placed on it. One after another, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Western Union stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks, after it began publishing 250,000 U.S. State Department cables late last year.

Assange told journalists in London that if WikiLeaks can't remove the "blockade," then it will "simply not be able to continue by the turn of the new year."

He says the restrictions have cut off about 95 percent of the money that he thinks his organization could have received.

Assange himself is under legal pressure in Europe and the United States. A decision is expected in the next few weeks on whether to extradite him to Sweden to face sex crimes allegations. And he's being investigated by a grand jury in the United States.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is suspected of giving WikiLeaks much of its American material, remains in custody at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)

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