Spanish ex-judge Baltasar Garzon will head the defense team of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuadorian media reported.
Garzon, who worked on cases concerning Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and exiled Russian media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky, has already met with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, WikiLeaks said in a statement.
Assange has been hiding at the embassy for more than a month to avoid his extradition to Sweden, where he faces a case in a rape trial that he calls politically motivated, Ecuadorian media said.
Assange’s whistleblowing site WikiLeaks made an enemy of the U.S. government in 2010, when it leaked hundreds of thousands of American diplomatic cables. The U.S. authorities have not ruled out requesting his extradition from Sweden.
Assange has requested asylum in Ecuador, whose president Rafael Correa is still considering the request.
Garzon, 56, made a name for himself as a judge presiding over several high-profile political cases, including Pinochet's, as well as attempting to investigate crimes of the Franco regime in Spain. He was disqualified from judicial activity in Spain for 11 years in February for illegal wiretapping.