In a statement to the Old Bailey, Italian investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi described Assange’s reaction when he found out the material was about to be made public, after a password appeared in a book by a Guardian journalist.
In 2011, when she became aware the password had been compromised, Maurizi had been due to visit Assange at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, the court heard.She said:
“Upon my arrival at Ellingham Hall, I encountered enormous concern.“There was an ever-widening circle of awareness that the files, until then considered to be safely encrypted, might nonetheless be public very soon because of the book which had been published.
”A German newspaper had published a story the day before making it possible to “connect the dots”, it was claimed.
She said there was a “misunderstanding” by some that Wikileaks could have done something about the situation.
She went on: “I remember that when I arrived there were fierce discussions as to what to do.
Julian was clearly acutely troubled by the situation with which Wikileaks was faced.”
When the unredacted material was published by Cryptome in September 2011, it was “never wished for by Wikileaks or Assange”
and every possible step had been taken for over a year to avoid it, she said.
“While I was at Ellingham Hall, Assange was himself making urgent attempts to inform the (US) State Department the information was circulating out of Wikileaks’ control.”