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WikiLeaks sponsor in trouble with the taxman

The Local · 7 Dec 2010, 14:11

Published: 07 Dec 2010 14:11 GMT+01:00

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The Wau Holland Foundation, which has reportedly transferred €750,000 ($1 million) in donations from the public to WikiLeaks, has been sent a second reminder to file its 2009 accounts.

"But this has nothing to do with WikiLeaks," Michael Conrad, a spokesman for tax authorities in the western state of Hesse, told new agency AFP, saying the reminder was nothing out of the ordinary.

"We haven't got anyone in our crosshairs, we don't have any crosshairs."

WikiLeaks has found itself under growing international pressure following its release of secret US documents to several news organisations, with its donation pipelines slowly being cut off.

MasterCard Worldwide on Monday stopped funnelling payments to the organisation, and on Friday US-based online payment service PayPal blocked financial transfers.

The Swiss Post Office's banking arm shut down one of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's bank accounts on Monday, saying he had provided false information in his application.

PayPal has also shut down the Wau Holland Foundation's account, the foundation said, saying PayPal had told it it was "in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy regarding... financial support to WikiLeaks."

Australian national Assange, 39, was arrested in London on Tuesday. He is wanted in Sweden for questioning on suspicion of crimes including rape.

The Wau Holland Foundation, named after a "data philosopher" and co-founder of German hackers' collective the Chaos Computer Club who died in 2001, called on its website for people to continue supporting WikiLeaks.

It said that passing on donations, which are tax deductible to those giving money, to Wikileaks was lawful in Germany, and that bank transfers were still possible.

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If the foundation fails to file its accounts, the authorities will compile them on their behalf — a service which the foundation will have to pay for, Conrad added.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:19 December 7, 2010 by dcgi
Media spin to make Wikileaks look like a dirty organisation, thelocal are just helping to spread this rubbish about *slow clap*
19:53 December 7, 2010 by ReaderX
Wikileaks is a dirt organization.

Does seem as though Mr. Assange an company have violated quite a few Terms of Service/ Acceptable Use Agreements with several different companies.

People who live in glass houses.... comes to mind.
20:52 December 7, 2010 by ngwanem
o great culture of criticism-bashing!!!!
21:20 December 7, 2010 by Landmine
Wikileaks IS a dirt bag organization.

How would anyone feel if Wikileaks published all their peronal information on the web? Bet there would be an outcry... Just look a the googlestreets building blurring in Germany to get a hint...

Seems like anyone thinking Wikileaks isn't wrong is a hypocrite....
22:30 December 7, 2010 by dcgi
Landmine: Someone actually did get information out of Wikileaks and leaked it back to Wikileaks and they published on their site so stop being so ignorant and inform yourself about what they do and how they do it. (-_-)
23:03 December 7, 2010 by Landmine
dcgi: Isaid YOUR information McFly -wake up and out your reading glasses on....
23:37 December 7, 2010 by dcgi
Landmine: if Wikileaks for instance got sent say the medical records for the whole of Germany they would not publish them; just because they get given information doesn't mean they leak it, they publish information that's they feel is in the public interest, information that helps battle corruption, rascism etc. So for instance if you were a registered BNP member you might have been unfortunate enough to have been fingered as a supporter when their registered members got leaked; and it got leaked because they are a racist organisation who only up until recently didn't allow people of colour into their party. Grow up.
23:40 December 7, 2010 by Landmine
ha ha, you are so missing the point I wrote. So, go read what I wrote like 20 times, might take 30 because it has not even dawned on you there may be two meanings to what I wrote. You have one. Now go read it 30 times and see if you get the other one. After that, go to the corner and wear our dunce hat.... Ha ha ha, some people think they know everything....
23:43 December 7, 2010 by dcgi
... if you cared about your point you might just want to write it in plain English rather than coming over as a complete douche about it. Feel free to enlighten us.
00:00 December 8, 2010 by Landmine
it's so obvious I would not want to make you look like an idiot in front of everyone reading this. Figure it out and don/t forget to go to your corner if you do dumb a$$!
00:18 December 8, 2010 by dcgi
lol, don't worry, feel free to make me look like an idiot, I'm certainly not perfect :)
03:42 December 8, 2010 by Prufrock2010
WikiLeaks must be doing something right if it has aroused the ire of all the corrupt governments of the world, which have now pressured the international banking industry to try to choke off its funding and Interpol to issue a bogus arrest warrant. I think it would be wise to take a closer look to identify the real hypocrites in this little melodrama.
10:03 December 8, 2010 by catjones
@Prufrock2010...some rant. Care to prove all the 'corrupt' governments, evil banking industry and bogus interpol? Looks like the only pure heart is yours, eh?
10:09 December 8, 2010 by frankiep
The international smear campaign against Wikileaks and anyone associated with it is very troubling, although not surprising. It just goes to show that there are very powerful forces in the world that are corrupt and arrogant beyond belief and willing to do just about anything to see to it that this never changes.

What's even more troubling is that there are so many people who see nothing wrong with, and in fact encourage, the efforts of the US government and other governments to destroy Wikileaks for having the nerve to bring their corruption and hypocrisy out into the open. And please spare me the melodrama about how the information Wikileaks is releasing is "putting lives in danger". This is the same kind of BS tactic used throughout history to scare ordinary people into willful ignorance and submission.

Then there are the simpletons who are demanding that Wikileaks be destroyed using the "logic" (some a couple of people here) that no one would like it their personal information were posted for all to see. I wonder if these people can see the very big difference between a private citizen and a person who is acting in the capacity as a representative of government. In case there is any confusion, digging into the affairs of private individuals who have not committed any crimes is wrong; digging into the affairs of people employed by government and tasked to act as representatives of the people should be continuously encouraged.
14:52 December 8, 2010 by ReaderX
I guess Sweden is corrupt since they originally issued the arrest warrant and then per EU regulation forwarded a copy to interpol.

The real news is that wikileaks and company have violated the terms of service when it comes to their use of aws and as well as with paypal. Again those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
18:30 December 8, 2010 by bartschaff
Don't believe everything you read, Reader X.

Those supposed "violations of the terms of service" were based, according to PayPal itself, on the very general term about not using the service to anything illegal... Wikileaks activities have so far not been declared illegal in the US by any judge, nor should they, if the 1st Amendment is to stand.
01:01 December 9, 2010 by Prufrock2010
catjones --

It wasn't a rant. It was on observation. Can't you discern the difference.

If you bother to read multiple news sources every day, as I do, you will see the evidence of corrupt governments revealed in the leaked cables themselves. If you don't think the banking industry is corrupt, you have been asleep for the last 10 years. Everyone else seems to know it. I never said Interpol was "bogus." I said the arrest warrant is bogus. This is evidenced by the fact that the two complaining witnesses alleging "sexual assault" have admitted that the sexual encounters were consensual, the nexus of the alleged "crime" being condoms that failed in the midst of coital activity. I don't know how that kind of allegation rises to the level of an international arrest warrant unless a rather remarkable amount of political pressure is being exerted because of the nature of the accused's line of work; i.e., embarrassing governments with whistleblower documents.

I don't know if the only "pure heart" is mine, but mine is a lot more pure than those of the players in this sordid little international intrigue.

@ bartschaff

You are assuming that Reader X reads at all. There is no support for that assumption based on his or her ludicrous opinions.
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