Julian Assange’s faces “legitimate fears” he will be extradited to the United States if he is forced to leave the Ecuadorian embassy, according to his advisor.
Sources close to the WikiLeaks founder have claimed the Ecuadorian government is planning on revoking his asylum and expelling him from the embassy, although this has been denied by government spokespeople.
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright, lawyer Greg Barns said Mr Assange’s concerns that he will be extradited to the United States form a basis for asylum.
“He sought asylum for a very good reason and that is a legitimate fear that the United States would seek to extradite him and subject him to the sort of appalling treatment Chelsea Manning has been forced to endure,” Mr Barns said.
“The US has an appalling track record when it comes to mistreatment of prisoners in these types of things, and it is legitimate for a person to seek asylum on the basis of a well-founded fear and Ecuador accepted that claim.”
Mr Barns added that should Mr Assange be forced to leave the embassy, he expected an indictment request to be filed “within minutes”.
Mr Assange has been resident within the embassy since August 2012 after Sweden issued an international arrest warrant over allegations of sexual assault and rape.
Although the charges have since been dropped, Mr Assange faces an outstanding UK arrest warrant after he failed to surrender to his bail terms.