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Major WikiLeaks donor under pressure in Germany

BERLIN, Dec 7 – A major WikiLeaks donor is in trouble in Germany for not filing its accounts on time, but authorities insisted Tuesday this was unrelated to its ties to the under-fire whistle-blowing organisation.

The Wau Holland Foundation, which has reportedly transferred 750,000 euros in donations from the public to WikiLeaks, has been sent a second reminder to file its 2009 accounts, tax authorities in the western state of Hesse said.

"But this has nothing to do with WikiLeaks," spokesman Michael Conrad told AFP, saying the reminder was nothing out of the ordinary.

"We haven\’t got anyone in our cross hairs, we don\’t have any cross hairs."

WikiLeaks has found itself under growing international pressure following its release of secret US documents to several news organisations, with its donation pipelines slowly being cut off.

MasterCard Worldwide on Monday stopped funneling payments to the organisation, and on Friday US-based online payment service PayPal blocked financial transfers.

The Swiss Post Office\’s banking arm shut down one of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange\’s bank accounts on Monday, saying he had provided false information in his application.

PayPal has also shut down the Wau Holland Foundation\’s account, the foundation said, saying PayPal had told it it was "in violation of PayPal\’s Acceptable Use Policy regarding (…) financial support to WikiLeaks."

Australian national Assange, 39, was arrested in London on Tuesday. He is wanted in Sweden for questioning on suspicion of crimes including rape.

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