Even as world leaders are still trying to cope with the recent flood of global political secrets leaked by the whistle-blower site Wikileaks, its founder Julian Assange is all set to write his autobiography promising more in the offing. Speaking to the Sunday Times, the 39-year-old Australian announced that he had signed deals worth $1.5 million for publishing his memoirs.
American publisher Alfred A. Knopf is likely to shell out $800,000, while the UK-based Canongate books will give the whistle-blower $500,000. Assange also told the newspaper that the autobiography could have sequels and are aimed at raising at least another $1.5 million.
I don't want to write this book, but I have to, Assange told the Sunday Times.
I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep Wikileaks afloat, he added.
Earlier this month, online money transfer site, PayPal, and credit cards including Visa and MasterCard blocked transactions to Wikileaks. Assange in response stated that the firms were instruments of U.S. foreign policy. Bank of America also froze transaction to Assange's websites, prompting a widespread outcry among his supporters who called for a boycott of dealings with the bank.
Wikileaks, in August, announced that they raised about $1 million this year. On Friday, a report in Wall Street Journal also maintained that the Wau Holland Foundation, which provides key back-office services for Wikileaks' operations by collecting donations and paying its bills, said it has paid about $500,000 in Wikileaks expenses. More than half of the money raised by the group was reportedly through donations via its website.
The whistle-blower in the Sunday's interview also maintained that the money raised by his memories would be used to defend himself against Sweden's bid to extradite him over allegations of sexual assault made by two women. His lawyers have already expressed fears that Assange could end up in an American prison, either directly through extradition from the UK, or through extradition from Sweden on espionage charges. The hearing on his extradition is likely to begin in February next year.
In a recent interview, the Australian suggested that the Swedish people who accused him of molestation could have been innocently caught up in a greater political scheme. Assange is currently under a virtual house arrest at a Norfolk country mansion in eastern England. He was released on bail on December 16 under conditions that he would wear an electronic tag all the times.