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'Assange to publish memoirs'

world Updated: Dec 21, 2010 22:35 IST

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has sold his memoirs to two publishing houses and is expected to have a manuscript ready in March, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The Guardian, one of the newspapers to whom WikiLeaks has provided some of the secret material it has acquired, said Assange is understood to have sold his memoirs, to publishers Canongate in Britain and Knopf in the United States, part of the Random House publishing stable owned by Bertelsmann AG.

The 39-year-old Assange is an Australian computer expert, who has angered the United States by releasing secret diplomatic cables on his website and teaming up with newspapers around the globe to amplify the impact of the disclosures.

He is currently on bail and living in the English countryside under house arrest as he prepares to fight extradition to Sweden, where authorities want to question him over alleged sexual offences.

News of the memoirs leaked via a tweet from Spanish publisher Random House Mondadori, with head of the literary division Claudio Lopez telling the world that "Manuscrito listo en marzo" -- the manuscript will be ready in March, the Guardian reported.

A Random House spokesperson in New York said the publishing house had no information about the matter at this time. Canongate was also unable to confirm or deny the Guardian report to Reuters.

The Guardian reported that Canongate publisher Jamie Byng had confirmed the news to online business website DailyFinance (www.dailyfinance.com) by email, telling them that the UK publisher was handling all the translation rights.

Assange's memoir would come hard on the heels of a volume from his former second-in-command Daniel Domscheit-Berg, whose "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time at the World's Most Dangerous Website" is set to tell the story of the site.

The book is due out from German publisher Econ Verlag in January.