Wikileaks founder, serial document leaker and professional defendant Julian Assange is no stranger to legal action. He's currently living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden and possibly the US, so it's fair to say that Assange knows his way around the legal system. To occupy his time, Assange has been doing some reading and chatting with his lawyers. He's now planning to sue Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for defamation of character. As one does.
Political advocacy group GetUp spoke to Assange in his Ecuadorian home-away-from-home recently, where the leaky man himself said that he's considering legal action against the Aussie PM.
When Wikileaks began dumping cables like a dodgy curry all over the internet in 2010, Julia Gillard said that the act was "illegal". Since then, Mastercard Australia has leapt on the statement as justification for blocking donations to Wikileaks.
Here's what Prime Minister Gillard said way back then:
"I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website. It's a grossly irresponsible thing to do, and an illegal thing to do."
The financial blockade is seriously hampering the way Wikileaks does business, and now Assange is looking to get some of his own back, reports the Sydney Morning Herald:
"Mastercard Australia, in justifying why it has made a blockade preventing any Australian Mastercard holder from donating to Wikileaks, used that statement by Julia Gillard as justification," Mr Assange said.
"So the effects of the statement are ongoing and they directly affect the financial viability of WikiLeaks," Mr Assange said. "We are considering suing for defamation. So I have hired lawyers in Sydney and they are investigating the different ways in which we can sue Gillard over that statement."
Assange went on to tell GetUp that the only contact he's had from Australian ambassadors is to bring him some paper and a few pens. Better than chains and handcuffs, I guess. [SMH]