There is nothing new in the case of Julian Assange except as far his backers go. Many people support Mr Assange but only a handful put up sureities which prevented him being held continually in prison in the UK. When Mr Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy he let those people down. He left them high and dry.
Since then there has been an ongoing dispute as to whether or not the people who assured bail should have to pay up. Now it has been decided that they do have to.
Nine people who together put up £140,00 cash look set to lose their money. The nine include prominent people such as a nobel prize winner and two members of the British aristocracy. The bail was posted in December 2010 but was forfeited when Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Of course he is not on the run as such. Neither are his whereabouts unknown. It is the British Establishment, no doubt with string pulls from the USA, that is preventing him leaving the embassy. How these facts would stack up in a court of law is a puzzle to say the least.
Vaughan Smith, a friend of Mr Assange who offered him sanctuary at his country mansion for more than a year represented the nine at Westminster Magistrates Court. Today the judge gave his verdict. It was that they had to pay up. He said: "I accept that they trusted Mr Assange to surrender himself as required. I accept that they followed the proceedings and made necessary arrangements to remain in contact with him. "However, they failed in their basic duty, to ensure his surrender. They must have understood the risk and the concerns of the courts. "Both this court and the High Court assessed that there were substantial grounds to believe the defendant would abscond, and that the risk could only be met by stringent conditions including the sureties."
Technically he is probably speaking the truth but it seems unfair.
The nine backers now have until November 6 to hand over a total of £93,500.