WikiLeaks' Assange fights friends and foes alike

/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange slammed both friends and foes Tuesday as he defended himself against widespread criticism over his conduct and his controversial website's publication of secret documents.

In an interview with the U.K.'s Times newspaper, Assange attacked his media partners at The Guardian newspaper for "selectively" publishing lurid details from the police report on his alleged sexual assault of two women in Sweden. (The Times' website operates behind a pay wall.)

"The leak of the police report to The Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application," he said. "It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning."

WikiLeaks has received increasing global attention for its leaks of sensitive government data as 2010 has gone on. In recent weeks, it has released parts of a cache of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department diplomatic cables from around the world.

Police 'bamboozled' women
On its website, The Times also posted a video interview with Assange, in which he criticizes the way Sweden has handled his case.

Assange, who has consistently denied the accusations of sexual abuse, also chided his two female accusers Tuesday of being revengeful and acting under political pressure.

"One of the women has written many articles on taking revenge against men for infidelity and is a notorious radical feminist," he said.

"I'm not promiscuous," he told The Times. "I just really like women."

In an interview with the BBC's Today Programme, Assange said the two women had gotten into a "tizzy" about sexually transmitted diseases following the alleged unprotected sex, and asked the police for advice.

"The police jumped on this and bamboozled the women," he said.

Once again he rounded on Sweden's handling of the accusations in the BBC interview.

"What is requested is that I be taken by force to Sweden and once there, be held incommunicado: That is not a circumstance under which natural justice can occur," he said.

More documents to come
As for the as-yet unpublished documents obtained by WikiLeaks, Assange said the website would release early next year a large number of documents about a bank.

Asked by The Times whether financial institutions should have anything to fear from the publication of WikiLeaks' documents, Assange said they did not but added:

"Certain abusive individuals, corrupt individuals and unethical individuals in the senior levels of management in those organizations may have cause to consider whether they should find an alternative place of employment."

The Times reported that Bank of America shares fell as a result of rumors that it was the target. On Saturday, it joined Mastercard Inc. and PayPal Inc. in refusing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The site has come under pressure from several directions besides the financial. Attorney General Eric Holder has said repeatedly a criminal investigation of WikiLeaks' release of the cables is under way.