'WikiLeaks' Assange signs deal to tell life story

Julian Assange has signed a book deal to tell the story of his life and hopes it to be a unifying document of our generation.

books Updated: Jan 11, 2011 11:34 IST
Agence France Presse

Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, said he had signed a book deal to tell his life story and expressed hope it would be "one of the unifying documents of our generation".

Edinburgh-based Canongate Books said it had acquired world rights -- apart from North America where the publisher will be Alfred A. Knopf -- to the whistle blower's autobiography.

It will be published in Britain in April.

Assange, who is on bail in Britain facing extradition proceedings to Sweden on charges of sexual assault, has overseen the release of thousands of US diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks website.

The publishers said the 39-year-old Australian would use the book to discuss his philosophies. Assange said: "I hope this book will become one of the unifying documents of our generation.

"In this highly personal work, I explain our global struggle to force a new relationship between the people and their governments."

Assange toldThe Sunday Timesnewspaper last month that the deals for the autobiography were worth more than one million pounds (1.2 million euros, 1.5 million dollars).

He said the money would help him defend himself against the allegations of sexual assault made by two women in Sweden. Assange denies the women's claims and says Sweden's attempts to secure his extradition are politically motivated.

"I don't want to write this book, but I have to," he told the newspaper. "I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat."

The release of the cables has infuriated Washington, which claims they have put diplomats' lives at risk. US officials are believed to be examining how to indict Assange for espionage.

First Published: Jan 11, 2011 11:34 IST