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WikiLeaks German spokesman quits in row with founder

WikiLeaks spokesman in Berlin, Daniel Schmitt.   | Photo Credit: Markus Schreiber

The German spokesman for online whistleblower WikiLeaks announced his resignation in a media interview released on Saturday, after falling out with founder Julian Assange. Daniel Domscheit-Berg criticized Assange for failing to improve the transparency and professionalism of WikiLeaks, which has grown exponentially in recent months after publishing sensitive documents on the war in Afghanistan.

Domscheit-Berg, 32, went under the pseudonym of Daniel Schmitt whilst working for WikiLeaks.

Amongst other things, Domscheit-Berg said smaller leaks were being neglected in favour of large documents with national or international impact. A key pledge of the online whistleblower has been to publish all the material received.

“I tried to raise the issue on several occasions, but Julian Assange responded to any criticism with the reproach that I was being insubordinate and was not loyal to the project,”Domscheit-Berg said.

He told the German Spiegel news magazine that Assange had suspended him four weeks ago, and blocked access to his company email.

Domscheit-Berg said he also advised Assange to withdraw from the public eye whilst being investigated in Sweden on allegations of rape, but said the suggestion was apparently seen as an attack on his authority.

The spokesman, who also coordinated WikiLeaks’ German accounts, said several employees were unhappy with the way the company was developing.

WikiLeaks, and its founder Assange, shot to fame in July, when the website released classified military information about the conflict in Afghanistan in Spiegel magazine, the New York Times and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 11:30:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/WikiLeaks-German-spokesman-quits-in-row-with-founder/article16047294.ece

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