Wikileaks' spokesman quits, blames Assange

German newspaper Der Spiegel is reporting that Wikileaks' German spokesman is leaving the whistleblower organisation. In an interview with the paper, due to be published in full on Sunday Daniel Schmitt - his real name, which he revealed for the first time in the interview, is Daniel Domscheit-Berg - says that he and others have lost faith in founder Julian Assange.

German newspaper Der Spiegel is reporting that Wikileaks' German spokesman is leaving the whistleblower organisation. In an interview with the paper, due to be published in full on Sunday Daniel Schmitt - his real name, which he revealed for the first time in the interview, is Daniel Domscheit-Berg - says that he and others have lost faith in founder Julian Assange.

"We all had an insane amount of stress in recent months," he told Der Speigel. "A few mistakes happened, which is OK, as long as people learn from them. For that to happen, though, one has to admit them. We have lost the faith that we are all pulling together."

In particular, Schmitt said that Wikileaks has been too focussed on large projects and neglecting smaller documents. He painted a picture of Assange as being very resistant to suggestions, saying that these were seen as disobedience and disloyalty.

Others will be leaving too, said Schmitt. The organisation has around seven paid employees, with Assange frequently moving between countries at short notice and using false names to avoid attracting attention. In recent months, he has been under investigation in Australia, and in Sweden - where he was accused of rape in a case that was dropped and then reinstated.

The site itself has been most noted recently for publishing more than 75,000 documents from the US military concerning the war in Afghanistan. These were released in a co-ordinated campaign also involving Der Speigel, the New York Times, and the Guardian.

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