High-profile Spanish lawyer Baltasar Garzon said on Wednesday that his main focus in defending WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was for the Australian national to get a fair trial on whichever country court that he would be haled to.
Anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks disclosed on Tuesday that Mr Garzon, who also served as a judge in his native country Spain, will begin representing Mr Assange on the latter's legal battles in different nations.
According to Mr Garzon, he will be the prominent whistleblower's legal representative, which is role that could see him travelling to various continents, where Mr Assange faces legal woes.
In the United Kingdom, Mr Assange is battling efforts by the British government to extradite him to Sweden, where authorities had been wanting to interview him to shed light on allegations of sexual assaults committed on two former female WikiLeaks volunteers.
The rape charges, Mr Assange said, were mere covers for him to be eventually brought over to the U.S., where he could face charges of espionage and sedition, which are punishable either by death or lifetime imprisonment.
At present, Mr Assange takes refuge at Ecuador's embassy in London, where he has been holed up since early June, waiting for a decision from Quito for his asylum protection.
In his plea, the former hacker claimed that he was under intense persecution and has nowhere to go, with the Australian government unwilling to back him as a citizen.
In a statement, Mr Garzon said that the legal cases arrayed against his new client were fairly inconsistent, especially the criminal investigations being conducted by Swede authorities.
At most, Mr Assange was not getting a fair deal, the Spanish lawyer stressed.
"We intend to demonstrate that (Mr Assange) is not getting the right to a fair defence, presumption of innocence and a trial with all the guarantees," Mr Garzon was reported by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) as saying on Thursday.
The appointment of the former Spanish judge as Mr Assange's counsel appeared as the meeting of two controversial figures, analysts said.
Like the WikiLeaks owner, Mr Garzon has had his shares of global fame and notoriety as AAP reported that he is best known as the unorthodox justice who ordered the arrest of former Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet in the late 1990s.
But his crime-fighting and anti-corruption drives were blemished earlier this year when Spain's High Court dismissed him from the judiciary for allegedly resorting to illegal eavesdropping on subjects of his probes.
Supporters of Mr Garzon insisted, however, that he was kicked out from government service for stepping on toes of powerful Spanish politicians.
WikiLeaks tapping of his legal services came following the announcement made by Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on Wednesday that his country would further defer its decision on the asylum application of Mr Assange.
It would be imprudent on Ecuador's part to tackle on the issue while the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games were underway, Mr Patino said, hinting that Quito will rule on the matter after the global sports fest, which commenced Friday last week and ends on August 12.
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