WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange on Sunday threatened to sue The Guardian over a book its journalists have written about his whistleblowing website.
The book — “WikiLeaks : Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding — being publicised as the “first full-scale biography'' of Mr. Assange and the “WikiLeaks phenomenon'' is said to be not wholly flattering to him.
Besides revealing details about his personal life, it is reported to be critical of his robust style and his alleged tendency to be a “control freak''. “This book will bring you as close to the unvarnished truth as you're likely to get,” said Mr. Leigh who played a key role in forging the deal that allowed The Guardian to publish cables.
Alleging that the book contained “malicious libels'', Mr. Assange's website said it would be taking legal action.
The threat was contained in a posting on WikiLeaks Twitter account that media reports claimed was thought to have been written by Mr. Assange himself.
It said: “The Guardian book serialisation contains malicious libels. We will be taking legal action.'' A spokesperson for The Guardian was reported as saying it was aware of the threat but had not received any legal notice.
“The irony of an organisation dedicated to the free and open flow of information threatening to sue a newspaper will be lost on no one.'' The Guardian was one of a select group of international publications Mr. Assange worked with to release American documents but he fell out with the newspaper after it published leaked Swedish police papers relating to allegations of sexual assault brought against him by two women.