- Associated Press - Friday, August 3, 2012

QUITO, ECUADOR (AP) - Famed former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon says Julian Assange is neither a pirate nor a terrorist.

He says he agreed to represent the WikiLeaks founder free of charge because the case affects human rights, democracy and free expression.

Garzon spoke to reporters in Ecuador on Friday with Assange’s mother, Christine.

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy June 19, seeking political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sexual misconduct.

Garzon says the extradition would be tantamount to sending him to the United States, where supporters fear a grand jury has secretly indicted him for spilling U.S. secrets.

Ecuador says it will announce its decision on Assange’s request after the London Olympics end.

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