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Spanish ‘superjudge’ demands asylum for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
• Judge Garzon is poised to defend Assange at the International Court of Justice
SPANISH ‘superjudge’ Baltasar Garzon has vowed to go to The Hague if Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is denied asylum.
Garzon, the head of Assange’s defence team, has said he will travel to the International Court of Justice if Britain denies the Australian national, who is wanted in Sweden on sexual assault charges, safe passage to Ecuador.
Assange has been granted asylum in Ecuador amid fears he could face the death penalty in the US if extradited to Sweden.
Protesters have gathered outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange has been living since June, according to the official Wikileaks Twitter feed.
Garzon has criticised Britain’s use of a law dating from 1987, which enables the government to override the 1961 Vienna Convention statute that prohibits the entry of home-grown security forces into any embassy without permission from that country’s ambassador.
London police are threatening to enter the Ecuadorian Embassy to remove Assange, which would be in direct violation of the Vienna Convention and could result in a massive legal battle.
Garzon has said Britain should respect Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum, adding ‘once asylum is granted, that also indicates the provision of safe conduct has been given’.
However, British Foreign Minister William Hague has expressed that Britain’s only obligation is to extradite Assange.
But Wikileaks representative Kristinn Hrafnsson has said that is what Assange fears most: “The big worry is an extradition to the United States. We all know what happened to Bradley Manning there. He was held in a situation which is equal to torture.”
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