World Economic Forum (Wef) President Klaus Schwab said he would invite embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Davos if he could, but he can’t.
“It’s our policy not to invite anyone who is currently the object of a legal complaint,” Schwab said in an interview with the SonntagsZeitung newspaper.
He said the forum, which takes place every January in the Swiss resort of Davos, would still discuss WikiLeaks, the group behind a mass-leak of confidential United States embassy cables that has embarrassed Washington.
Schwab said the group has come to define a new reality that has shifted the boundaries between privacy and transparency. Governments, companies and managers should accept the fact that they are now operating in a “glass room”, he said.
Assange, who is wanted in a sex-crimes investigation in Sweden, has other setbacks to contend with, but he is not alone in handling them. On Sunday the Swiss Pirate Party filed a formal complaint with the Federal Prosecutors Office against the banking arm of the post, PostFinance, for breaching Swiss banking secrecy laws in connection with an account Assange maintained there.
PostFinance announced it was closing Assange’s account based on residency information he provided that officials believe to be false. Denis Simonet, president of the Pirate Party, said on Sunday that revealing Assange had an account there violated his right to privacy.
Swiss Post CEO Jürg Bucher defended the closure. He said secrecy laws apply to how money moves but not to information on the existence or termination of an account.