Closing of Wikileaks account to be investigated

The Swiss authorities say they will investigate the legality of last week’s decision by the state-owned PostFinance to close the account of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

This content was published on December 13, 2010 - 17:31 and agencies

President Doris Leuthard, who holds the communications portfolio, told parliament on Monday that her ministry would look into any possible wrongdoing.

One week ago, the financial arm of Swiss Post closed Assange’s account because he did not meet PostFinance’s residency requirements.

Leuthard said the company took a unilateral decision to close the account – which Assange used to solicit donations for Wikileaks – without any pressure from the government.

She added that PostFinance checks the personal details of customers opening new accounts, but does not immediately verify their home addresses. If proven later that false information has been provided, the company has the right to cancel the contract and close the account in question.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office will also review the case of Assange’s closed Swiss bank account, a spokeswoman said on Sunday.

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