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.
The UN mission in Kosovo was set up at the end of the war in 1999 and helped govern it until Kosovo's 2008 independence.
Doctor Without Borders reports 16 pct malnutrition among young children in settlements of displaced people
Terrorism, trade, climate change likely to top agenda of high-level meeting
Total number of people returned under Turkey-EU deal reaches 1,081
Speaking after German media reported the US president as having described the Germans as "bad, very bad", European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker tried to play down the latest spat to erupt since Trump came to power pursuing a protectionist agenda.
NATO Parliamentary Assembly president says Caucasus nation has 'full support'
UK opposition leader also draws links between British foreign policy, terror attacks at home
"It's a big problem, it's a world problem," he said in the Sicilian town of Taormina, just weeks after he called North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un a "madman with nuclear weapons."
The two-day summit in Sicily's ancient hilltop resort of Taormina kicks off four days after children were among 22 people killed in a concert bomb attack in Manchester.
Maimane was planning to attend treason trial of Zambian opposition leader in capital Lusaka
Police search post offices, embassies, airport in Greek capital after letter bomb attack
Foreign minister says UN should not try to replace country’s justice system by conducting parallel investigation
A former chief of the council, ethnic issues expert Mihail Ivanov called the appointment "an outrage against minorities."
The National Liberation Army (ELN) is the country's second-largest rebel group after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). A former member of the group Victus tells his story
In keeping with his nationalist economic agenda, Trump had in particular hit out at Germany's substantial trade surplus with the US, threatening to introduce customs duties in retaliation.
The 75-year-old was given a lethal injection after the US Supreme Court allowed the execution to proceed by denying the inmate's stay requests.