Julian Assange hired human rights champion Baltazar Garzón to defend his case in court.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hired human rights champion and former Spanish judge Baltazar Garzón to fight what he fears is an American scheme to eventually try him for revealing a stash of secret documents.
International jurist Mr. Garzón, who was recently disbarred in Spain, “has expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of safeguards and transparency, and the harassment [Assange] is being subjected to,” says a statement released late yesterday evening on Twitter by WikiLeaks.
“There is clear political intentionality behind this affair,” Garzón was quoted on Wednesday in a Spanish radio station, citing “the great job [Assange] has done with his organization.”
Garzón met Mr. Assange “recently” in Ecuador’s embassy in London, according to the statement. In June, Assange sought refuge there to avoid what would have been an imminent extradition to Sweden over rape allegations, although he hasn’t been formally charged. Ecuador has said it will take as long as it wants to make a decision. The UK has a pending arrest warrant for breaking his bail terms.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Assange “has the right to hire and look for the legal advice that he needs or may need for the asylum request.”
Assange respects the judicial process, Garzón said. “We want and demand guarantees that the process he is facing is really just.”
The United States has not charged Assange either, but the Obama administration has publicly denounced him for allegedly putting lives in danger for disclosing thousands of secret documents compromising intelligence operations and sources, on top of angering a myriad of governments over embarrassing revelations.