George Galloway is presently in Indonesia but has issued the following statement:
'No never means yes and non-consensual sex is rape. There's no doubt about it and that has always been my position. But if my remarks on the podcast need clarification I am happy to do that.
'Julian Assange, let's be clear, has always denied the allegations. And this has all the hallmarks of a set-up. I don't believe, from what we know, that the Director of Public Prosecutions would sanction a prosecution in Britain. What occurred is not rape as most people understand it. And it's important to note that the two women involved did not initially claim it.
'It is not denied that Assange had consensual sex with woman A on August 14, 2010 and similarly with Miss W three days later. She even hosted a party for him the following evening. Over the next three days the women met up and talked to a journalist about the events. On August 20 both went to a police station, not to allege rape, but to see if it was possible to force Assange to have an HIV test. An arrest warrant was issued and then withdrawn with a chief prosector saying, 'I don't think there is reason to suspect he has committed rape'.
'Assange was questioned by Swedish police but denied the allegations. However on September 1, 2010 the case was unexpectedly re-opened by the Director of Prosecutions who sought to have Assange extradited – not to face charges – but for further questioning. This was eventually granted by the British court, which surely must be unprecedented that someone could be extradited simply for questioning, rather than to face prosecution!
'Julian Assange has said repeatedly that he would return to Sweden for questioning and to contest any charges that might result if Britain and Sweden would provide guarantees that he would not be extradited to the United States, where he could face 100 years in solitary confinement over his part in Wikileaks, like the punishment now awaiting Bradley Manning. What is preventing the two governments doing this? I think we know.'