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Assange 'left in limbo'

Assange 'left in limbo'

Sat August 4, 2012 11:07am

JULIAN Assange's defence lawyer says the WikiLeaks founder, seeking asylum in Ecuador, is in a state of limbo because of secrecy from the United States over the charges it may pursue.

"We anticipate those charges, but do not have any information from the US as the grand jury proceedings are secret - and therefore the charges are secret," said Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish former judge who heads Mr Assange's legal team.

"If charges are secret, [Mr Assange] is completely helpless" to plan how to answer the allegations made against him, Mr Garzon told reporters in Quito.

The 41-year-old Mr Assange, an Australian, is holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London and is seeking asylum in the South American nation to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of sexual assault.

But he also fears being extradited to the United States to face charges over WikiLeaks' publishing of a trove of secret documents, including information relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless diplomatic cables.

His mother Christine met with Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa on Wednesday, who told her "the important thing is for Julian to be assured that Ecuador is considering with great responsibility" his request.

Mr Assange's mother says she is worried her son could face execution if he is extradited to the United States.

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