Assange surprised by Wikileaks payment ruling
on 27/11/2012 13:56:40
The Australian, speaking from Ecuador's embassy in central London, where he has been staying since June to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations, said the blockade had wiped out 95% of WikiLeaks' revenues.
He claimed that documents released by the EC showed that hard-right politicians in the United States were behind the blockade.
He said it was a surprise that the EC was not opening a formal investigation, but pledged that WikiLeaks will continue to fight the blockade.
DataCell, a company that collected donations for WikiLeaks, complained to the Commission about Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe and American Express after they stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks in December 2010.
Their decisions followed criticism by the United States of WikiLeaks' release of thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables.
Mr Assange, addressing his first press briefing inside the embassy, said: "It is concerning that hard-right elements in the United States have been able to pressure Visa and Mastercard into introducing a blockade that the US Treasury has rightly rejected."
Today's development followed a preliminary decision by the commission, with a final decision expected in the next few weeks.
Mr Assange revealed that the blockade had cost WikiLeaks $50m (€38.5m)
He criticised right-wing US politicians for applying an "economic death sentence".
He said he was grateful to the Ecuadorian embassy for "protecting" him and over the granting of political asylum.
"My stay here in the Ecuador Embassy, while difficult in many ways, at least I am able to continue my work to some degree."