Europe

Lawyer to ask if Assange under investigation in US

  • LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05:  Julian Assange (C), the founder of the whistle-blowing 'WikiLeaks,' arrives at the High Court before winning the right to petition the UK Supreme Court to review his extradition to Sweden on December 5, 2011 in London, England. Last month Mr Assange lost a High Court challenge to his extradition to Sweden where he is due to face charges of sex offenses.   (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Julian Assange (C), the founder of the whistle-blowing 'WikiLeaks,' arrives at the High Court before winning the right to petition the UK Supreme Court to review his extradition to Sweden on December 5, 2011 in London, England. Last month Mr Assange lost a High Court challenge to his extradition to Sweden where he is due to face charges of sex offenses. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)  (2011 Getty Images)

  • Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

    Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)  (AP2012 )

The lawyer who is coordinating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's legal defense against extradition to Sweden says he will ask U.S. authorities whether his client also is under investigation there.

Former Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon said Wednesday he will send a petition to the U.S. prosecutors asking them that.

Assange, who is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sex crimes allegations, has been sheltering inside Ecuador's Embassy in London -- beyond the reach of British police -- since June 19.

He claims the Swedish sex case is merely the opening gambit in a plot to make him stand trial in the United States over his work with WikiLeaks, which has published large troves of secret U.S. documents.

Sweden and Washington reject those claims.