A group of nine high-profile Julian Assange supporters are still trying to get money back they put up when Assange was arrested by British authorities and they expected him to be extradited to Sweden. The group of Assange supporters, represented by former British army captain Vaughan Smith, are trying to get the combined $225,000 in surety to be paid later they put up when Assange was first arrested. Authorities argue the money's been forfeited because Assange violated his bail term whenever he detoured into Ecuador's embassy and never came out.
How were we supposed to know he was going to run and hide in Ecuador's embassy, Smith argued in court today. "We never envisaged when we agreed to become sureties that the matter would become a diplomatic argument," he said. Telling him to come out and face the charges isn't on the table, either. "To all publicly urge Mr Assange to abandon the sanctuary that he has found in the Ecuadorian embassy - would see us acting against a man whom we and others judge to have understandable fears about his ultimate treatment in the United States if he abandons his asylum," Smith argued.
The judge was going to deliver a decision on the money today, but he decided he needed more time. Other Assange supporters, like Michael Moore and British socialite Jemima Khan, were stiffed the $320,000 worth of bail money they tried to get back. A decision on the surety should come within the next few days.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.