Criticism of Wikileaks mouthpiece Julian Assange is growing, with more voices joining the chorus calling for him to step aside while his various Swedish legal problems are sorted out.
Prosecutors in Sweden last week reopened a rape investigation centred on allegations by two women. Assange has claimed this is part of a Pentagon-inspired conspiracy to smear his reputation.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, a Wikileaks organiser and member of the Icelandic Parliament, said she had asked Assange to step down until the criminal investigation is over. She said she did not believe his claims of conspiracy.
She told the Daily Beast: “Somebody needs to say this - If it means I get banned, I don’t care. I really care very much for WikiLeaks and I do consider myself to be Julian’s friend. But good friends are the people who tell you if your face is dirty.
"There should not be one person speaking for WikiLeaks. There should be many people.”
She said she had urged him to step down and sort out his legal problems.
Another Wikileaks organiser said protests against Assange from within the organisation led to the website being shut down for a few days. The organiser said: "Our technical people were sending a message."
Other Wikileaks 'organisers' have been talking to Cryptome., though the site itself is not convinced they are legit.
This source said: "The 'insiders' here at Wikileaks firmly believe that Julian Assange is no rapist."
However, the source added, "Assange's character flaws will eventually bring him down; unfortunately he will drag down Wikileaks with him." ®