Wikileaks Court Case Begins Today

21.6.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
The company which handles financial transactions for whistleblower website Wikileaks promised to take credit card companies in Iceland to court, and today, the trial begins.

As reported, Wikileaks faced a number of financial obstacles in 2010. When Master Card and other companies began to block payments to the site, Icelandic hosting company Datacell began allowing Visa card-holders to donate to Wikileaks via the company.

However, Visa banned its card-holders from donating to Wikileaks, and Ólafur Sigurvinsson, the director of Datacell, was far from pleased. "I have confirmed today," he told Mbl.is at the time, "that I can support Al-Qaida, the Ku Klux Klan, buy weapons and drugs and all kinds of porn with my Visa card. There is nobody investigating this, but I cannot support a human rights organisation which is fighting for freedom of expression." Speaking to radio station Rás 2, Ólafur added, "This is a very serious breach, and not just of the contract that we have [with Visa] ... now card-holders cannot decide for themselves where they spend their money."

As a result of the ban, Datacell announced then that they were planning to take Visa to court for breach of contract; specifically, for not fulfilling the wishes of its clients.

DV now reports that Datacell's lawsuit against Valitor, the company which handles Visa and Master Card in Iceland, has begun. Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesperson for Wikileaks, wrote an article for Vísir wherein he says that while the simple request of the suit is for Valitor to honour their contract, the trial also centres around questions of human rights and freedom of expression.

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