Berlin: The “negligence” of British daily The Guardian led to WikiLeaks releasing its full archive of 250,000 US diplomatic cables, the whistleblowing website’s founder Julian Assange said on Tuesday.
Speaking via video-link at the IFA electronics fair in Berlin, Assange said, “The Guardian was negligent”, amid a war of words between the website and the newspaper.
“We discovered two months ago that the Guardian had published the password” for the archive, Assange said, a charge the newspaper has denied.
“Our trust was violated,” he said, adding: “The Guardian violated our contract.”
The Guardian, along with the New York Times, German newsweekly Der Spiegel, Spanish daily El Pais and France’s Le Monde, worked with WikiLeaks to publish edited cables that caused huge embarrassment to the United States.
But the decision to publish the cables without first deleting information that could endanger potentially vulnerable sources unleashed a storm of protest.
“We deplore the decision of Wikileaks to publish the unredacted State Department cables, which may put sources at risk,” the media groups said in a joint statement.
Assange acknowledged there could be “some harm” from the cables, but asserted: “I do not think there will be much harm.”
He is currently living under stringent bail conditions in Britain, fighting extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over alleged rape and sexual assault