Assange Under Pressure to Quit WikiLeaks

Organizers say spokesman is 'creating a big mess'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2010 3:09 AM CDT
Updated Sep 7, 2010 6:15 AM CDT
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in Stockholm, Sweden.   (AP Photo/Scanpix/Bertil Ericson, File)

(Newser) – People within WikiLeaks are pressuring Julian Assange to back away from the site he helped create. Assange—embroiled in a sex case in Sweden he calls a "legal circus"—may be ousted if he doesn't step down as the group's chief spokesperson until the matter is resolved, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Assange's insistence on "staying in charge of everything” is creating “a mess for everyone” as WikiLeaks prepares to release more Afghan war documents, says one organizer.

"These personal matters should have nothing to do with WikiLeaks," another organizer, Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir, tells the Daily Beast. "I have strongly urged him to focus on the legalities that he’s dealing with and let some other people carry the torch.” She says she has read the police reports against Assange and she doesn't believe there's any truth to his claim that the sex charges are part of a smear campaign.

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