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Ecuador suspends decision on Assange until after the Olympics in London

Thursday, July 26th 2012 - 00:42 UTC
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Former Spanish Judge Garzón has the legal representation of Assange in UK, US, Sweden and Australia (Photo: AFP) Former Spanish Judge Garzón has the legal representation of Assange in UK, US, Sweden and Australia (Photo: AFP)

Ecuador's Foreign minister said on Wednesday there will be no decision until after the Summer Olympics on the political exile request of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño told reporters it would be imprudent to announce a decision during the London Games, which begin Friday and end Aug. 12.

Assange sought refuge in Ecuador's London embassy on June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of sexual misconduct.

Assange contends the sexual misconduct claims are trumped up and that he's being persecuted politically for publishing secretive US documents including diplomatic cables.

Earlier in the week it was announced that Spanish ex Judge Baltasar Garzón will head the defence of Assange, according to Spain's newspaper “El País.”

The decision was agreed after Garzón met with Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The encounter was held in order to define a “strong judicial strategy to defend WikiLeaks and its founder as well” the organization stated.

According to WikiLeaks, the Judge showed his concern over “the severe lack of guarantees” against Assange.

The judicial investigation into Assange's activities was “a kind of persecution” for his role as founder of WikiLeaks and for revealing political wrongdoing through the whistle-blowing website, Garzon said.

The allegations and investigations against Assange in countries like Sweden were “inconsistent”, and there was “something else” behind them, the lawyer said.

”We intend to demonstrate that (Assange) is not getting the right to a fair defence, presumption of innocence and a trial with all the guarantees,” Garzon said.

Garzon said he had been appointed to co-ordinate Assange's legal representation in countries where legal action or investigations were under way, listing Britain, the United States, Sweden, Ecuador and Australia.

Garzon gained international attention in 1998 when he issued an arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for crimes against Spanish citizens. He formerly served as a judge with Spain's central criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional, where he launched investigations into alleged human rights violations in Latin America and elsewhere.

The Spanish Supreme Court disbarred Garzon in February for wiretapping jailed suspects and their lawyers in a corruption case. Supporters say the real reason for ousting him from the judiciary was his attempt to investigate the crimes of late dictator Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain from 1939-75.


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  • Idlehands

    I can't see why it is imprudent to make a decision before the Olympics - they are totally unrelated.

    I can only assume the Ecuadorians are going to give him asylum and don't want their dignitaries and athletes to receive the flak.

    It's all a bit pointless - if Assange wants to spend the rest of his life stuck in the Equadorian embassy then let him get on with it. Saves anyone else from the expense of imprisoning him.

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 07:08 am 0
  • Yomp to victory

    You really have to be a Neanderthal misogynist of the most spectacularly order if you believe that there is anything inconsistent about holding a man to account for an alleged sexual assault. .. but, then again, that is the order of the day in most Latin countries.

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 08:09 am 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    I think they will give him asylum, it would seem to go against their nature not to. And yes it wouldn't hinder them at the Olympics if they handed him over to the Brits, so thats another hopeful sign!

    Jul 26th, 2012 - 09:53 am 0
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