27 Dec 2010

Assange signs book deal

7:33 am on 27 December 2010

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he has signed deals worth £1 million for his autobiography.

Mr Assange, 39, is on bail in Britain while fighting a bid by Sweden to extradite him over claims of sex assault made by two women.

He has to report to police daily and wear an electronic tag.

He told the Sunday Times newspaper he does not want to write the book, but he has already spent £200,000 on legal costs and needs to defend himself and keep WikiLeaks afloat.

The website's latest project is the gradual release of thousands of US diplomatic cables.

Since the project, Mr Assange has faced problems financing the website.

Visa and MasterCard, PayPal, an internet payment firm, and the Bank of America have blocked donations to the site.

A court in London is due to hold a full hearing on the Swedish extradition request starting 7 February.

Before Christmas, Mr Assange told The Guardian newspaper that there was a high chance he would be killed in a US prison if he were to be extradited from Britain on espionage charges.