'War crime' claim over record leak
Published 26/07/2010 | 18:52
The founder of online whistleblower WikiLeaks said there appears to be evidence of war crimes in the thousands of pages of leaked US military documents relating to the war in Afghanistan.
Julian Assange said that "it is up to a court to decide really if something in the end is a crime. That said ... there does appear to be evidence of war crimes in this material".
On Sunday, WikiLeaks posted some 91,000 leaked US military records of six years of the war, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings and covert operations against Taliban figures.
Both the White House and Downing Street have condemned the release. The White House has accused WikiLeaks of endangering the lives of American, British and other coalition troops.
The documents amount to a blow-by-blow account of six years of the Afghanistan war, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings as well as covert operations against Taliban figures.
The White House condemned the document disclosure, saying it "put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk".
The documents, including classified messages between military officers and diplomats, also describe US fears that ally Pakistan's intelligence service was actually aiding the Afghan uprising.
The documents, dated between January 2004 and December 2009, are largely what is called "raw intelligence" - reports from junior officers in the field that analysts use to advise policymakers.
White House national security adviser General Jim Jones stressed that the documents described a period from January 2004 to December 2009, during the administration of President George Bush.