Assange sex claims bogus, says Galloway as Ecuador warns UK
Controversial MP wades into diplomatic row as Correa tells UK not to violate embassy
GEORGE GALLOWAY, the leader of the Respect Party, has entered the row over the extradition of Julian Assange, claiming that the WikiLeaks founder has been set up by the two woman who have made sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden.
The controversial MP for Bradford West said: "If the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 per cent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don't constitute rape."
In a podcast, Galloway described the alleged victims as "two women with incredibly complex political backgrounds who just, at the right time, come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him".
His comments have been condemned by rape charities.
Whistle-blowing journalist Assange is at the centre of a diplomatic stand-off after he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London two months ago while fighting extradition proceedings to Sweden. He has now been granted asylum by Ecuador.
Assange fears that if he is forced to travel to Sweden to face questioning over the sex allegations he will then be extradited to the US where he could face an eternity in jail or even the death penalty for disseminating diplomatic and military secrets via WikiLeaks.
The UK says it is obliged to extradite him to Sweden after a court ruling and last week it suggested in a letter to Ecuador that it had the right to enter the embassy to arrest Assange.
Speaking on TV last night, Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, said that course of action would be "suicide" for Britain as it would set a precedent that would allow for its diplomatic premises "to be violated in every corner of the planet".
Correa said he was prepared to take the issue to the UN. "This was a leader looking confident in the knowledge his actions have won him popular support and regional backing from allies across the continent," reported Sky News.
However, the BBC says Correa made it clear that "channels of negotiation with the UK were still open".