Today, a hearing is taking place before the Icelandic courts in Reykjavik to callenge the unlawful suspension of financial services aganst Wikileaks.
Since 7th December 2010, after publishing the biggest leaks in journalistic history, an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade has been imposed by Visa against Datacell, the Icelandic base company processing the donations for the transparency publishing group WikiLeaks.
The case of DataCell ehf. against Valitor hf. (formerly VISA Iceland) is the first of many legal responses of WikiLeaks to the banking blockage. The case number is E-561/2012.
DataCell is an Icelandic/Swiss data company that provides data hosting and other technical services. WikiLeaks made a service agreement to DataCell and according to the agreement, the Iceland based company processed credit card donations to the WikiLeaks project.
Originally DataCell had a merchant agreement with a Danish credit card processing company, Teller AS. VISA Europe forced Teller to close the service in December 2010.
In June 2011 DataCell, due to the illegal closure, sought a new merchant agreement to be able to facilitate its customer to pay with credit cards and process donations to WikiLeaks. DataCell signed this agreement with the Icelandic company Valitor (Visa Iceland) in une 2011. The gateway was tested and certified by Valitor and subsequently opened.
After a brief period where donations had been processed to WikiLeaks, Valitor terminated the agreement and closed the gateway, without any plausible explanation.
Datacell´s demands in court are clear: that Valitor reopens the gateway and honours the signed merchant agreement.
Valitor has cited alleged violations by Datacell for collecting donations for a third party. Its argument does not hold as
a) such limitations refer to merchant sales and b) Valitor was fully aware of the intent to collect donations.
A decision by the Reykjavik District Court in this case is expected in 4-6 weeks.
Contact for comment:
Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, lawyer for DataCell firstname.lastname@example.org telephone: +354 894 7406
Kristinn Hrafnsson, spokesman for WikiLeaks email@example.com telephone: +354 821 7121
For more information read: http://wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html