WikiLeaks hackers say Zim websites shut down

Cyber activists say they have brought down Zimbabwean government websites after the president’s wife sued a newspaper for publishing a WikiLeaks cable linking her with illicit diamond trading.

President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace is suing a private newspaper for $15-million for publishing details from US cables on WikiLeaks saying she gained “tremendous profits” from illicit diamonds.

The activists, acting under the name Anonymous, said in a statement on their website: “We are targeting Mugabe and his regime in the Zanu-PF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing WikiLeaks.”

The Zimbabwean government web portal www.gta.gov.zw was unreachable on Thursday, while the Finance Ministry’s website, www.zimtreasury.gov.zw, displayed a message saying it was under maintenance.

Anonymous previously shut down the sites of Visa and Mastercard after they restricted payments to WikiLeaks.

The WikiLeaks site has enraged the United States and affected its relations with some countries by publishing hundreds of leaked confidential cables from US diplomats. It says it has a total of a quarter of a million cables.

Its next data release early next year is widely expected to centre on Bank of America.

The WikiLeaks founder and editor in chief, Julian Assange, is on bail and under house arrest in Britain preparing to fight extradition to Sweden, where authorities want to question him about alleged sexual offences. - Reuters

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