Spanish ‘superjudge’ demands asylum for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

LAST UPDATED: 17 Aug, 2012 @ 14:30
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Spanish ‘superjudge’ demands asylum for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

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.”

15 COMMENTS

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  1. He was the best Spanish judge. But he committed the error of investigating fascist crimes in Spain, and investigating Popular Party corrupt practices (Gurtel).

    The case of the “illegal” wiretaps is related to the Gurtel case. The wiretaps have been used by other judges and they were not considered illegal. But in his case the judges sentenced him. The problem is related with how different judges interpret one single law about wiretaps. Mr. Garzon had far too many enemies among the two biggest political parties, among many wealthy people, and other judges that could not stand his media profile and fame. But, hey!, he lived in Spain were the conservative factual powers still governs instead of democracy.

  2. AnotherBird – your comments are beyond words. Judge Garzon has balls of steel to stand up for human rights abuse and to hold those culprits accountable. So what if he authorised illegal wiretaps – the intentions were amirable! While Thacher was having tea with Pinochet, the Queen dined with Mahinda Rajapaksa (Sri Lankan President) both mass murderers, every other global law enforcement person turned a blind eye. Congratulations to Ecuador for poking their fingers at the UK, Congratulations to Judge Garzon for calling Governments to be transparent and accountable. Look at the mess Spain is in for its lack of accountability and transparency. Magna Carta “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot, Super Judge Garzon, I hope you find every legal loophole and drive a semi truck through it to protect Julian Assange!

  3. He is either is being incompetent or a sucker for Julian Assange. Two women are accusing Assange of sexually assaulting him, in other words depriving them of their rights. However, Assange is afraid of what might happen to him in the future, even though Europe has clear safe guards against such abuses. Judge “wiretap” must know that.

  4. AnotherBird – “Europe has clear safe guards against such abuses” Wow – Can’t wait to see the USA, Cananda, UK and Australia storm into churches or the Vatican to arrest peodaphile priest?????? Seriously how many rapes have been politically covered up???? The government, police and church colluded in an unsuccessful attempt to cover up the allegations for many years, … International dimension of problem also includes Spain.

  5. Spain is still the same nationalist, fascist, nazi-style state that is riddled with corruption, malpractices, human rights abuses and xenophobia quite apart from its barbaric rituals of torturing bulls to death in public which is indicative of its true character. Ordinary people could not care less about wiretaps; it’s the criminals who fear it. In Spain the top criminals have their own judicial protection rackets. That’s why Garzon was convicted. Whether Garzon can help Assange is another matter. Ultimately the bigger state power will no doubt prevail. Ecuador has no clout against Britain and the US. What should really be addressed is the crime of state secrecy which Assange exposed. Why should the state have secrets that it wants to hide from its own citizens? That’s what the fascists and nazis were good at.

  6. Opinions here and there…we need to look at facts and they are harder to conceal in internet days…yet deep power structures are hell bent to punish any one who dares to interfere. Where would we be if it were not for those who fought with their blood to give us today the relative freedom we experience…what about those who’re being murdered every day? Who speaks on their behalf? Assange, Manning, Garzon and the like will be remembered as the true heroes of our times!

  7. crimeofstatesecrets – “Ordinary people could not care less about wiretaps; it’s the criminals who fear it.”

    It is funny that you would accuse Spain of being a “nationalist, fascist, nazi-style state” and then turn around and repeat what is actually a fascist, authoritarian slogan (“…if you have nothing to hide”).

  8. The British government is guilty of gross misjudgement in its threat to enter the Ecuadorian Embassy. Even totalitarian regimes respect the Embassy system, without which international politics and understanding would be impossible. A side effect is the virtual elimination of the world-wide ‘feel-good’ factor after the Olympics, much of it directed towards the UK. What a disaster, there should be resignations at the highest level.
    Superjudge Garzon is a light shining for justice, his high media profile surely a good defence against threats from his many enemies amongst the powerful and corrupt. I’d believe his version of the Julian Assange situation before any others.
    A way out of the impasse could be for the Swedish government to interview Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy to discover the facts behind the sexual allegations. He fears that returning to Sweden has little to do with these allegations, more an excuse to have him extradited to the US to answer Wikileaks charges.
    On the subject of Wikileaks, it may not be widely known that the big American banks, controlling Visa, Paypal, Mastercard, Westen Union, etc., etc., have decided that they will only allow you to use these payment services for companies and organisations which they approve? As an example, if you wanted to contribute to the huge cost of running Wikileaks, you could not use these services. In effect they are telling us all, as supposedly free citizens, where they will allow us to spend our money!!!!!
    It is feared that they may also stop you supporting such as Greenpeace if their activities impact on their interests.
    This Banking blockade has not been approved either by the US Government or the UN. It is a renegade system which should see us all opting for alternative financial services.

  9. Gary – “If he is not guilty of these alleged crimes in Sweden why does he not return there to clear his name.”

    I think he is afraid of being extradited to the United States and spending the rest of his life in prison for posting a video of American soldiers killing civilians and journalists in Iraq.

    A reasonable fear of the country that has more people in prison than any other in the entire world (Land of the Free, Home of the Brave).

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