Thursday, January 27, 2011

WikiLeaks Fundraising Arm Not Breaking The Law

By Jerry Smith Jan 27 2011

There is no proof WikiLeaks' fundraising body, the Sunshine Press, is breaking the law in its home base of Iceland, said Teller AS, a Norway-based financial services company asked by Visa to investigate the matter.

“Our lawyers have now completed their work and have found no indications that Sunshine Press ... acted in contravention of Visa's rules or Icelandic legislation,” Teller's chief executive Peter Wiren said.

Teller stands ready to process payments to WikiLeaks when Visa gives the go ahead.

Visa Europe Ltd. said Wednesday that it would continue blocking WikiLeaks until it completes it's own investigation. Amanda Kamin, the company's spokesperson, couldn't say when the investigation, now into it's eight week, would be completed.

When Visa announced that they would suspend doing business with WikiLeaks on Dec. 8, the reason they gave was that they were waiting for the results of their own investigation into “the nature of its business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules”, though it did not go into any further details.

After WikiLeaks began publishing secret military communications relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars, and the roughly 250,000 classified diplomatic cables, Visa, MasterCard Inc., PayPal Inc., and several other American companies refused to process donations for the whistle-blowing site.

WikiLeaks says the U.S. accusations of putting its national security at risk are just an attempt to distract from the embarrassing content.

Assange is currently at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk,UK under house arrest and fighting extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual improprieties. His lawyers fear if extradited to Sweden, he may in turn be extradited to the U.S., and possibly face the death penalty.

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