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back to article Assange chums must cough up £93,500 bail over embassy lurk

While Julian Assange™ continues to sun himself under a SAD lamp in London's Ecuadorian Embassy, the supporters who put up his bail money - and so kept him out of British custody and free to hole up in the embassy - have been ordered to cough their cash up. Nine supporters of Assange have been told by judicial authorities to hand …

Perhaps he can pay them back

From the money he earned as a presenter for that bastion for freedom of expression 'Russia Today'?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps he can pay them back

Perhaps they can go into the embassy and give him a shove out of the door to avoid paying? Technically they will have ensured his surrender.

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Re: Perhaps he can pay them back

They would have been safer giving the money to a bank robber.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps he can pay them back

Better to work for 'Russia Today' than the vested interest ridden BBC. At least you get some balance on RT, as opposed to 'Yippee - Cost of shelter is going up' or 'Disaster - House prices have fallen' which seems to be all the beeb is concerned about. A corporation so devoid of intellect they recently ran headlines saying "the cost of living has fallen" when the rate of inflation dropped from 4% to 3%.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps he can pay them back

You're so right. RT is totally balanced and has no agenda at all. Putin won that election fairly. And Pussy Riot deserved everything they got.

Are you being sarcastic or just incredibly stupid?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps he can pay them back

@AC 19:53

This is not the first time on here RT has had similar compliments. Some people really are incredibly stupid.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps he can pay them back

So ... how exactly does the BBC "run headlines"?

A search on their website for "the cost of living has fallen" shows no hits. Link?

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Silver badge
FAIL

HA HA

Rich fools.

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Do a runner then lose the money? Isn't this the whole point of putting up bond money?

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FAIL

The Fall Guy

Colt Seavers wouldn't take this shit

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FAIL

"Both this court and the High Court assessed that there were substantial grounds to believe the defendant would abscond, ".....................

.....................but we granted him bail nevertheless.

WTF???????

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That's the whole point of bail money. It is set at a value such that the pain of losing the money is worse than the pain of standing trial.

Of course that assumes that the defendant feels the pain of his "friends and supporters".

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Silver badge

And of course the curfew conditions made sure the authorities knew where he was on a daily basis. That did stop him jetting out of the country, but then the whole Embassy thing kind of blindsided everyone.

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"that assumes that the defendant feels the pain of his "friends and supporters""

"It is set at a value such that the pain of losing the money is worse than the pain of standing trial."

This is true when the person standing trial is the person whose money it is.

"the defendant feels the pain of his "friends and supporters""

Unless the defendant and the 'friends and supporters' discussed and agreed to the possibility of jumping before bond was posted.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "that assumes that the defendant feels the pain of his "friends and supporters""

"Unless the defendant and the 'friends and supporters' discussed and agreed to the possibility of jumping before bond was posted."

Where did they discuss that then? In his cell?

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Re: "that assumes that the defendant feels the pain of his "friends and supporters""

According to the information I have, Assange arrived in the UK around November 20, 2010 and was taken into custody by the British police on December 7, 2010. This would give him an opportunity to discuss bail jumping and other felonies with the friends and supporters who bailed him out. No?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "that assumes that the defendant feels the pain of his "friends and supporters""

He discussed bail jumping with people before any of them offered to post bail, before he'd been arrested?

How do you reckon that works exactly? Half the people didn't even come out as behind him before he was taken into custody. Under what circumstances do you really think Assange called up Philip Knightley and said "Hey, if I get taken into custody, will you post bail, and then I'll jump bail. Okay with you?"

Give us a break. That didn't happen.

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Unhappy

Interesting

Perhaps you are correct and Assange and his bailors never thought he could possibly lose in the English Courts.

And that if he did lose, in spite of the dubious Swedish demand that his questioning had to take place in Sweden and nowhere else, he wouldn't hesitate to turn himself in to be extradited there and guarantee his bailor's money would be safely returned.

And if there were a wink and nod from Assange to a couple of his bailors (who in turn winked to others) don't expect to read their version of it in the English media, as that would make them accessories before the fact. More likely they are still weeping crocodile tears about the money that they lost that could have been spent on a month or two in Como or Mallorca, or wherever rich English like to dip their toes these days.

No, you are right. Assange blindsided them. His friends and supporters are sick to death that he has asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy as we post these remarks.

All are punished (pun-i-shed).

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Go

bail jumping discussion

Supporter: We want to put up your bail.

Assange: Thanks. I'll probably jump bail if the decision is against me.

Supporter: Whatever.

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Hmm

Would non-members of the great-and-good, giving sureties for some random non-celeb get away with not paying the whole amounts like this lot have?

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Silver badge

Re: Hmm

They haven't got away with it, have they? Not paying a court bond is not as trivial as not paying a parking fine.

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Silver badge

Re: Hmm

But they put up 125,000 and have been asked to pay about 95,000. The question was why haven't they been asked to pay 125,000.

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Re: Hmm

I would guess he put up the remainder

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Facepalm

Re: Hmm

"Would non-members of the great-and-good, giving sureties for some random non-celeb get away with not paying the whole amounts like this lot have?"

In principle yes, though in this case it makes me feel a little sick that the judiciary has given itself an almighty slap in the face - this has been the intent from day 1. Still can't wrap my head round how he actually got bail.

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Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"Still can't wrap my head round how he actually got bail."

Because he promised to stay on a nice country Estate, because he could afford a very expensive lawyer, and because there was so much public scrutiny that people would be screaming "conspiracy" and blue murder had he not been?

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WTF?

Re: Hmm

People promise all sorts of things, the court knew he was a flight risk and had no good cause to let him walk about freely. Same applies to this guy who shot the two WPCs near Manchester - can't fathom why he was out on bail either.

It would be easy to blame the tories and their prison policy, have a funny feeling this has been an issue for a long time.

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Facepalm

hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

That is all.

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Foolish

Foolish Julian, rich folk are no longer going to back him up.

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Meh

Re: Foolish

Meh... I disagree: £15k for some publicity is a bargain for some people.

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Re: Foolish

Especially when it's someone else's money!

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Facepalm

"which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

This is just wrong.

Embassies are not the sovereign territory of their operating state, and have never been recognised as such. The treaty that this flows from is the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), and has been signed by almost all countries (this is how 'international law' works).

The clause in question is this : " .. The premises of a diplomatic mission, such as an embassy, are inviolate .."

This means the host country can't go in, by agreement. It does not give a piece of the hosts territory away to do with as the recipient chooses, which is what 'sovereign' means.

There is a legal agreement that UK officials won't go in without prior approval by the ambassador, but thats a very different thing from having sovereignty.

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WTF?

Re: "which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

Upvoted to counteract one of the incomprehensible downvotes.

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Re: "which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

@MCCP: Upvoted you for upvoting the incomprehensibly downvoted post.

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Why...

you've got down votes for stating fact I don't know?! Is it not the case that the "authorities" can revoke the inviolateness of an embassy should they have (damned) good reason to and have, so far, only chosen not to so as to maintain diplomatic relations with Equador, and the fact JA can't exactly go anywhere?

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: "which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

Upvoted to counteract one of the incomprehensible downvotes.

Upvoted all those who upvoted to counteract one of the incomprehensible downvotes.

I'm sure those downvotes would be happy to donate to Assange's lost bail?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why...

Hell someone should give this sincere man the job of sweeping the alligator pens out. Whilst the occupants are still there. Better still, give him the job of keeping house for the Taliban.

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Silver badge

Re: Why...

"Is it not the case that the "authorities" can revoke the inviolateness of an embassy"

Yes. AFAIK they can just "close" the embassy down. They diplomatic staff still have immunity (at least for as long as it takes to get out of the country, I don't know if it's more than that), but anyone else would no longer be protected. Also, I believe the UK has a law saying that they can go in without closing the embassy.

The reason they haven't (yet) done so is all down to international relations, not just with Ecuador. Many would see it, legal or not, as an assault on embassies in general, and it could put British diplomats at risk. They would need a much better reason than arresting someone to deport him, and are more likely to try every diplomatic avenue available before doing so.

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Re: "which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

I'm upvoting the upvote to the incomprehensibly downvoted upvote which had been downvoted in an incomprenesibibble bibble

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why...

Downvoted for being a childish whinger about downvoting. Someone didn't like what someone said. Boo. Hoo. They're so mean on this forum, Mummy ...

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Re: "which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

@Shades: Upvoted you for upvoting the upvoter of the incomprehensibly downvoted post.

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Happy

Re: "which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

@emmanuel goldstein: We must go deeper, so…

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "which is recognised legally as Ecuadorian territory"

With or without mineral rights?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Duties and powers

The judge seemed to be of the opinion that those involved had a 'duty to ensure' Mr. Assange complied with his bail terms and surrendered.

But do they have any *power* to carry out that duty? Does their status as providers of bail 'immunize' them against possible charges of assault, kidnap, etc?

Even if was the case that it did, it could well be argued that they would be prepared to carry out the duty the judge claims they have - e.g. bundle him into a car and whisk him round to the police - but are frustrated by the fact that the embassy is diplomatic territory and they would face arrest if they tried to carry out their 'duty'.

Isn't that force majeur?

I very much doubt if they can be made to pay for something so completely outside their control.

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Silver badge

Re: Duties and powers

Now if they'd just let Dog the Bounty hunter into the UK, they would have the power. Julie would be outer there than you can say "go with Christ bro"

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Angel

Re: Duties and powers

It's rather more subtle than that - the judge explains his reasoning - about the system:

A surety undertakes to forfeit a sum of money if the defendant fails to surrender as required. Considerable care is taken to explain that obligation and the consequences before a surety is taken. This system, in one form or another, has great antiquity. It is immensely valuable. A court concerned that a defendant will fail to surrender will not normally know that defendant personally, nor indeed much about him. When members of the community who do know the defendant say they trust him to surrender and are prepared to stake their own money on that trust, that can have a powerful influence on the decision of the court as to whether or not to grant bail. There are two important side-effects. The first is that the sureties will keep an eye on the defendant, and report to the authorities if there is a concern that he will abscond. In those circumstances, the security can withdraw. In granting bail I understand that Ouseley J expressly referred to this advantage of sureties. The second is that a defendant will be deterred from absconding by the knowledge that if he does so then his family and friends who provided the sureties will lose their money. In the experience of this court, it is comparatively rare for a defendant to fail to surrender when meaningful sureties are in place.

and the specific detail that in this case those who advanced the bond have expressly declined to pressure Mr Assange to surrender:

I say immediately that I have real respect for the way that the sureties have conducted themselves in difficult circumstances. I am satisfied that what they have said and written accurately reflects their genuine views. In declining to publicly (or as far as I know privately) urge Mr Assange to surrender himself they have acted against self-interest. They have acted on their beliefs and principles throughout. In what is sometimes considered to be a selfish age, that is admirable.

So he has a sympathetic understanding of their position, makes allowance for their personal circumstances, but is acting to uphold the integrity of a well-tested and valuable part of our legal system. What more should we hope of a judge?

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Re: Duties and powers

Er, yes they can. Floods, storms and lightning strikes are pretty well outside the control of your insurance company, but you expect them to pay up when something happens.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Duties and powers

The judge spoke of the process of law. Whether or not they have the power, they lose their money. Should not have been given bail in the first place.

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