US "top lawyer of last resort" joins Assange to "protect new electronic media vigorously"

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London, Feb 16 (ANI): Alan Dershowitz, America's "top lawyer of last resort", has said that he has joined Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's legal team to "protect new electronic media vigorously."

The US is trying to build a conspiracy case against Assange for masterminding the release of hundreds of secret US diplomatic cables that led to controversies across the world.

A magistrate's court in Virginia is seeking the names, dates and locations of Twitter users who had tried to communicate with Wikileaks, from Twitter authorities, to charge Assange.

Twitter had reportedly received a court order through the US Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, on December 14 last year, in which it demanded the accounts of Assange and Private Bradley Manning, the army intelligence analyst suspected of supplying classified information to WikiLeaks. It had also sought information about Twitter users like Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp, and US programmer Jacob Appelbaum, who had earlier worked with WikiLeaks.

The Australian-born journalist's UK legal team has called in Dershowitz, described as America's "most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer", to challenge the US Attorney General's action, The Independent reports.

The paper quoted Dershowitz, who had backed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's claim last December that WikiLeaks posed a danger to the US and to international diplomacy, as saying that he is a part of Assange's legal team now.

"I'm currently in this case because I believe that to protect the First Amendment we need to protect new electronic media vigorously," he added.

The lawyer holds the record of winning 13 out of the 15 murder and attempted murder cases.

"The representation of a guilty and despicable defendant, with little chance of winning, is a challenge and one of the highest obligations of my profession. If the US President thinks it's essential to defend the lives of thousands of people, he ought to be on the line. He ought to have to sign a torture warrant saying, 'I'm taking responsibility for breaking the law, for violating treaties, for doing an extraordinary act of necessity,' " Dershowitz added. (ANI)

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