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Celebrated Spanish human rights investigator Baltasar Garzon to head Julian Assange’s legal team

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Famous Spanish human rights investigator Baltasar Garzon will lead the legal team representing WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, the whistleblower website announced on Tuesday.

Assange is currently at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, seeking political asylum in the Latin American country, after losing his legal battle to avoid extradition to face questions over rape and sexual assault claims in Sweden.

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Garzon, best known for issuing an international arrest warrant against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, recently met with Assange at the embassy to discuss a new legal strategy, according to a statement approved by both men.

According to the release, the aim is to “defend both WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from the existing abuse of process and expose the arbitrary, extrajudicial actions by the international financial system” against the former hacker and his website.

Garzon will also strive to “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,” it added.

The judge has previously voiced concern over the alleged lack of safeguards and transparency involved in actions against Assange.

WikiLeaks and Assange enraged the United States by publishing a flood of secret information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The website founder fears that if extradited to Sweden, he will be subsequently re-extradited to the United States to stand trial for espionage, on account of the 250,000 US diplomatic cables that were published on the Wikileaks website.

Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa, who has often been at odds with Washington and offered Assange asylum in 2010, has said that the South American country will take its time considering the application.

Garzon was in February disbarred from his role as an investigating magistrate in Spain after he was found to have wiretapped conversations between defence lawyers and their clients.

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He has said he will appeal to the Constitutional Court of Spain against his expulsion.

In 2008, the former jurist formally declared Spain’s Franco regime to have committed crimes against humanity and ordered the exhumation of 19 unmarked graves.

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WATCH: Video shows NYPD beating anti-police violence protesters with batons

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Protesters of police violence received a harsh reception from the New York Police Department on Friday evening.

The protesters had marched to the Barclays Center, where they were met with a large police presence.

Heavy police presence posted outside of Barclays Center. If you’re protesting, please stay safe.

- Legal Aid Society’s Contact Number: 212-577-3300- Link to Brooklyn Bail Fund: https://t.co/cxRXqgrrum #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/IgISXvkOj1

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Trump is enacting the presidency ‘George Wallace never had’: Conservative columnist

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On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot tore into President Donald Trump's legacy on race.

"We know how a normal president responds when a white police officer ignites furious protests by killing a black man. It is the way President Barack Obama responded in 2014 after a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer who had fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the National Guard had to be called in to deal with looting and fires," wrote Boot. "Obama expressed sympathy for the protesters — their anger, he noted, was 'rooted in realities that have existed in this country for a long time' — while making clear that he had no sympathy with violence: 'Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk — that’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts. And people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts.'"

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White House goes into lockdown as George Floyd protests in DC rage hotter

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On Friday, CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang reported that the White House has now issued lockdown orders.

The development comes as protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota have spread to Washington, D.C. and crowds are growing angrier. Earlier in the evening, a protester scaled the wall of a federal building and spray-painted an obscene anti-Trump message above a window.

The White House is currently under lockdown orders. https://t.co/LasnCIjkum

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