The memoirs of Julian Assange are set to be published tomorrow, in spite of attempts by the WikiLeaks founder to prevent its publication.
Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography, excerpts from which will appear on Thursday in the UK's Independent newspaper, contains an entire chapter dealing with Assange's continuing struggle to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces criminal investigation over allegations of sexual assault against two women, including one of rape - and for the first time explains the Australian's account of the events that gave rise to the accusations.
"I have kept my own counsel about the matter until now," Assange writes in the book. "It will be difficult to keep anger out of this account, owing to the sheer level of malice and opportunism that have driven the case against me, but I want to make this argument as much as possible in a spirit of understanding."
Assange blames the women's lack of understanding for the pressures he was under in running the controversial whistle-blowing organisation - but hints at a broader political conspiracy behind the case.
"The international situation had me in its grip, and although I had spent time with these women, I wasn't paying enough attention to them, or ringing them back, or able to step out of the zone that came down with all these threats and statements against me in America," the 40-year-old says.
"One of my mistakes was to expect them to understand this? I wasn't a reliable boyfriend, or even a very courteous sleeping partner, and this began to figure. Unless, of course, the agenda had been rigged from the start."
Also detailed in the 244-page book is Assange's account of WikiLeaks' tempestuous relationship with former media partners The Guardian and the New York Times, who were instrumental in publishing earlier leaks concerning US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the so-called 'Cablegate' leak of more than 250,000 confidential US diplomatic memos.
Publisher Canongate is to publish the autobiography, which was the subject of a deal worth a reported £800,000, despite repeated attempts by Assange to prevent its release. These began after the WikiLeaks founder read the first draft of the book in March and declared that "all memoir is prostitution". Ghost writer Andrew O'Hagan asked for his name to be kept off the memoir after controversy surrounding the book's publication mounted.
The Australian is believed to have objected to the level of personal detail contained in the book, transforming it from the political manifesto he had intended in to a warts-and-all expose. He informed Canongate on 7th June that he wanted to terminate his contract, but after Assange failed to rework in the manuscript within a two-month deadline set down by Canongate, lawyers for the publisher approved its publication because the £500,000 advance paid to Assange has never been returned.
Canongate offered Assange a 12-day window in which to seek an injunction against publication. That window expired on Monday, setting the stage for tomorrow's launch.