El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Secretive US keeping Assange in limbo: ex-judge

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's defence lawyer says his client, seeking asylum in Ecuador, is in a state of limbo because of secrecy from the United States over the charges it may pursue.
"We anticipate those charges, but do not have any information from the US as the grand jury proceedings are secret - and therefore the charges are secret," Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish former judge who heads Assange's legal team, said on Friday.

"If charges are secret, (Assange) is completely helpless" to plan how to answer the allegations made against him, Garzon told reporters in Quito.

The 41-year-old Assange is holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London and is seeking asylum in the South American nation to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of sexual assault.

But he also fears being extradited to the United States to face charges over WikiLeaks' publishing of a trove of secret documents, including information relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless diplomatic cables.

His mother, Christine, met Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa on Wednesday. He told her: "The important thing is for Julian to be assured that Ecuador is considering with great responsibility" his request.

Assange's mother says she is worried her son could face execution if he is extradited to the United States.

Famed former judge Garzon says Assange is neither a pirate nor a terrorist.

He says he agreed to represent the WikiLeaks founder free of charge because the case affects human rights, democracy and freedom of expression.

Assange took refuge in Ecuador's London embassy on June 19.

Garzon says the extradition would be tantamount to sending him to the United States, where supporters fear a grand jury has secretly indicted him for spilling US secrets.

Ecuador says it will announce its decision on Assange's request after the London Olympics end.

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