Wikileaks Press Release… Tue Jul 24 19:36:07 UTC 2012
Statement approved by Julian Assange and Baltasar Garzón
The Spanish judge, lawyer, and international jurist, Baltasar Garzón, will lead the legal team representing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The jurist met with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom recently. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new legal strategy which will defend both WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from the existing abuse of process; expose the arbitrary, extrajudicial actions by the international financial system which target Julian Assange and WikiLeaks specifically; and show how the secret US processes against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have compromised and contaminated other legal processes, including the extradition process against Mr Assange. Despite having been imprisoned, fiscally blockaded, and placed under house arrest for over 650 days, Mr. Assange has not been charged with an offence in any country.
Baltasar Garzón revolutionized the international justice system two decades ago by issuing an international arrest warrant for the former Head of State of Chile, Augusto Pinochet. His actions spearheaded the fight against impunity in Latin America and in the rest of the world. The judge has expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of safeguards and transparency with which actions are being taken against Julian Assange, and the harassment he is being subjected to which has irreparable effects on his physical and mental wellbeing. The threats against his person are further aggravated by the complicit behaviour of the Swedish and U.K. governments, who are wrongfully abrogating his rights.
END OF WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE
Notes on Garzón (via external sources):
On 17 October 2008, Garzón formally declared the acts of repression committed by the Franco regime to be crimes against humanity, and accounted them in more than one hundred thousand killings during and after the Spanish Civil War.
Garzón came to international attention on 10 October 1998 when he issued an international warrant for the arrest of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet for the alleged deaths and torture of Spanish citizens. The Chilean Truth Commission (1990–91) report was the basis for the warrant, marking an unprecedented use of universal jurisdiction to attempt to try a former dictator for an international crime. Eventually it was turned down by British Home Secretary Jack Straw, who rejected (on health grounds) Garzón’s request to have Pinochet extradited to Spain.
Garzón also filed charges of genocide against Argentine military officers on the disappearance of Spanish citizens during Argentina’s 1976–1983 dictatorship. Eventually Adolfo Scilingo and Miguel Angel Cavallo were prosecuted in separate cases. Scilingo was convicted and sentenced to over 1000 years incarceration for his crimes.
Garzón issued indictments for five Guantanamo detainees, including Spaniard Abderrahman Ahmad and United Kingdom resident Jamil El Banna. Ahmad was extradited to Spain on 14 February 2004. El Banna was repatriated to the United Kingdom, and in 2007, Garzón dropped the charges against him on humanitarian grounds.
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