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Former Spanish judge to defend Assange

Former Spanish judge to defend Assange

Mexico City: Former Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon will head the defence team of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuadorian media reported.

Garzon, 56, who worked on cases concerning Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, has met Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks said in a statement.

Assange has been staying at the embassy for more than a month to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces charges of rape that he terms politically motivated.

Assange's whistleblowing website WikiLeaks leaked thousands of US diplomatic cables in 2010. The US authorities have not ruled out requesting his extradition from Sweden.

Assange has requested asylum in Ecuador, whose President Rafael Correa is still considering the request.

Garzon made a name for himself as a judge presiding over several high-profile political cases, including that of Pinochet, as well as attempting to investigate crimes of the Francisco Franco regime in Spain (1936-75). He was disqualified from judicial activity in Spain for 11 years in February for illegal wiretapping.


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