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  • Lawyer Baltazar Garzon (C) on his way to court, Madrid, Spain, July 27, 2020

    Lawyer Baltazar Garzon (C) on his way to court, Madrid, Spain, July 27, 2020 | Photo: EFE

Published 27 July 2020
Opinion

Handing over Assange to U.S. authorities would be "a violation" of the right of defense.

During a hearing at Spain’s National Court, Julian Assange’s lawyer Baltasar Garzon Monday denounced that his client has suffered "political persecution" from the U.S. government.

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Garzon was called to declare over the alleged espionage by the Spanish company UC Global,  which was responsible for the security of Ecuador’s embassy in London from 2015 and 2018.

During the hearing were displayed recordings of the meetings between Assange and his legal team, in which they consider leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy. Due to this information, an extension of the arrest warrant against Assange was issued on December 22, 2017.

The use of those recordings was described by Garzon as a "flagrant" violation of the lawyer-client privacy.

"The life of a journalist is at stake. All that has been done is a persecution of a journalist for revealing very serious facts," Garzon added.

Handing over Julian Assange to Washington would be "a violation" of the right of defense and an "attack" on freedom of expression and access to information, the Spanish lawyer stressed.

The U.S. arrest warrant "shows that Assange has been the object of a political persecution case, in which all the rules of due process have been violated, false and unlawful tests have been carried out, and the procedure is contaminated," Garzon explained.

Assange was a refugee at the Ecuadorian embassy in London from 2012 to 2019. Currently, he is imprisoned in a maximum-security prison in the U.K, where he is awaiting the second phase of the extradition process requested by the United States on Sept, 6.

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