Julian Assange's potential extradition to the United States could be the “most acute crisis” the UK government will ever face, says George Galloway.
Assange has been residing inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, claiming refuge on political asylum grounds. Reports suggest he could be evicted and that the embassy has cut off his computer and phone.
Talking on the Mother of All Talk Shows, Galloway said: “Julian Assange may be turfed out of the Ecuador embassy, where he had taken refuge as a political asylum refugee given by the legitimate government of Ecuador, staying in the sovereign territory of Ecuador but besieged at the expense of £15m to the London tax payers.”
The Wikileaks founder entered the embassy back in 2012 after he broke bail over sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden. While the case was dropped by Swedish authorities in 2017, the UK warrant for his arrest remains.
However, he cannot be arrested by UK authorities while he continues to take residence in the embassy. The United States also want to prosecute him after he published hundreds of thousands of classified government documents on WikiLeaks.
“Julian Assange may very well imminently be handed over to the British authorities, at which point, if not already, an extradition request from the US for his extradition to the US to face charges of espionage - the punishment of which in the United States reaches up to, and including, the death penalty - will be on the desk of British ministers,” he added.
The Intercept reported the Ecaudorian president met with British officials in London last week for private discussion, which could see Assange expelled from the embassy.
Galloway has warned ministers that the extradition of Assange to the US could be a bigger "crisis" than Brexit.
“I warned those ministers that any attempt to extradite Assange to the United States and possibly to his death by execution will be the most acute crisis - even including the Brexit crisis itself - they will ever face.”