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Iceland Court Orders Valitor to Process WikiLeaks Donations

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Reykjavik’s District Court ordered Valitor hf, the Icelandic partner of MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc., to open card payments to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks within two weeks or face daily penalties of 800,000 kronur ($6,200), the court said today.

Valitor was sued by Icelandic data hosting service provider DataCell, after the payment card company refused to process payments to WikiLeaks the same day it signed a contract with DataCell.

“This is a good day for the freedom of expression,” Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, lawyer for DataCell, told reporters after the ruling. If Valitor decides to appeal “it will be on political grounds, not legal grounds.”

Valitor Chief Executive Officer Vidar Thorkellsson said by telephone the company would appeal the ruling and declined further comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Omar R. Valdimarsson in Reykjavik at valdimarsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kim McLaughlin at kmclaughlin6@bloomberg.net

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