World Bulletin / News Desk
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hired Spanish jurist Baltasar Garzon as a legal adviser as he seeks political asylum in Ecuador, the Andean country's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said on Tuesday.
Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since June 19. The Australian anti-secrecy campaigner, who enraged Washington in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website published secret U.S. diplomatic cables, is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sex crime allegations.
Assange broke his bail terms and requested asylum in Ecuador. He denies any wrongdoing in Sweden and says he fears that if extradited there, he could be sent on to the United States, where he believes he could face criminal charges punishable by death.
The Ecuadorean government has said it will take as long as needed to make a thorough analysis of Assange's asylum application before making a decision.
"Mr. Assange has requested the services of lawyer Baltasar Garzon to deal with his case. ... Of course he has the right to hire and look for the legal advice that he needs or may need for the asylum request," Patino told reporters in Quito.
Human rights investigator Garzon is best known for ordering the arrest of former Chilean military leader Augusto Pinochet in 1998.
For three decades, Garzon has made a career of tackling the most complex and controversial of cases, winning notoriety as well as a clutch of powerful enemies in Spain's ruling class. Politicians across the spectrum have been implicated or targeted in his investigations over the years.
He also stirred up controversy with an attempt to order an investigation into the killing of tens of thousands of civilians during the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, who died in 1975.
Patino said he welcomed Garzon's involvement in the Assange case because the Ecuadorean government had "a very good relationship" with the jurist. Garzon is part of an international panel that was set up to oversee the ongoing judicial overhaul in the OPEC-member country.
Neither the U.S. nor Swedish authorities have charged Assange with anything. Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two former WikiLeaks volunteers in 2010.
A headmistress at a British high school has banned short skirts after male teachers were being distracted by the hemlines
Uganda will begin withdrawal when the East African force is ready for deployment
Tunisia has declared a state of emergency one week after the beach attack in Sousse
Iraqi jet have dropped leaflets over Mosul, telling the people that they will recapture Mosul and drive out ISIL.
Poland has further fuelled conflict between the two nations as a city took down the brotherhood-in-arms of Polish and Red Army soldiers memorial.
Eurotunnel services disrupted after points failure after 150 migrants try to enter restricted areas of Calais terminal
Iraq's Parliament speaker has urged the Iraqi government to provide secure return to displaced people
Despite the differences between the two countries, Russian-American relations must be based on equal treatment and mutual respect
Spanish police have arrested a Moroccan for distributing ISIL propaganda.
Fierce fighting breaks out between Libyan army, attached to the Government of Tobruk, and other armed groups in the east
Rallies around the country have marked the end of campaigning to approve or reject proposals from Greece's creditors
Germany had reformed its BfV following its failure to prevenet a series of Neo-Nazi murders.
Two people have been killed while walking past mud house in search of accommodation during Thursday night’s rainstorm
The Southern African Development Community have decided to send a team to the Kingdom of Lesotho to investigate the murder of a former military commander
According to IMF data, Greece is followed by Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Greek Cypriot administration and Belgium in a list of countries with high debts compared to their GDP
Canada granted permissions for foreign countries to interrogate their citizens after they were assured that they would not be subject to torture