The alleged spying on Julian Assange and his immediate circle while at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London makes his extradition to the United States illegal, Baltasar Garzon, coordinator of Assange’s legal team said on Monday
MADRID (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 27th July, 2020) The alleged spying on Julian Assange and his immediate circle while at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London makes his extradition to the United States illegal, Baltasar Garzon, coordinator of Assange’s legal team said on Monday.
A court in Madrid is hearing evidence on Monday in the ongoing case against the Spanish security company Under Cover Global, which was hired to provide security to the Ecuadorian embassy in London between 2015 and 2018. According to the accusation, UC Global systemically surveilled Assange, his partner Stella Moris-Smith Robertson, Garzon himself and a slew of others on behalf of US and Ecuadorian intelligence. The head of the company, David Morales, is not in custody but is under a no-travel clause and other restrictions.
“We are trying to establish the illegal actions that took place. We have provided the British judicial authorities with all these materials, since they are directly related to the extradition case. We believe that Assange was the object of political persecution, all procedural rules were violated,” Garzon told reporters after providing evidence to the court and answering questions as a witness and victim.
Garzon, himself a renowned Spanish legal figure famous for high-profile investigations in Spain‘s highest criminal court, told reporters that the judge inquired into private 2017 conversations with Assange. Garzon maintains that the conversation they had about extending diplomatic immunity was leaked to intelligence services and that “hastened the decision to arrest” in early 2019.
“The people who are tracking Assange from the US are doing it absolutely illegally. The security company UC Global, through its head, reported [to the US] regularly about everything we did on the defense team,” Garzon added.
Morales if facing charges of crimes against privacy, violation of lawyer-client confidentiality, money laundering and bribery.
The former judge did not rule out that the extradition process could be completed before the UC Global case, therefore “facts, records, reports, whatever they find interesting, will be transferred to the UK legal authorities through legal mechanisms in order to find out the truth about the events.”
Assange was arrested in London in April 2019 at the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he sought refuge seven years before. He was initially sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail but has remained in custody pending his extradition trial as he is deemed to be a flight risk.
Assange is fighting extradition to the United States, where he is wanted on 18 Federal charges, including conspiracy to hack government computers and espionage. He faces up to 175 years in prison if found guilty