Silly, silly boy. That\’s not what bail sureties are about

Supporters of Julian Assange have launched an legal bid to recover the £140,000 cash they put up in bail money which was forefeit when the WikiLeaks founder sought asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy.

The group – which includes two members of the British aristocracy, a Nobel Prize winner and an academic – told a court they were \”wholly blameless\” in the saga, and had \”worked assiduously\” to help Assange comply with court orders.

Excellent, you worked hard to try and get him to obey the law.

Good for you.

But that ain\’t what bail sureties are about. For you\’re not a bounty hunter.

What the guarantees are about is that the Government, or the court, doesn\’t really know how honest the bloke in front of them is. Could be a man of unblemished character falsely accused. So we look around to see if other people trust him. If they do, then great, they can show their faith in his good character by providing those financial guarantees. The court then takes that other people have faith, demonstrated by that financial commitment, as being evidence that he is of good character and will turn up for trial.

If you get that estimation of character wrong well, tough luck.

21 thoughts on “Silly, silly boy. That\’s not what bail sureties are about”

  1. Does it make me a bad person if I can’t help but feel a bit of glee? Muhahahaaha (evil right wing menace laugh)

  2. In the old days gambling debts were not enforceable at law and they have gambled and lost so they don’t want to pay up. I think that is why the terms of bail are carefully framed to avoid the “gambling debt exclusion”

  3. Don’t they realise that if they succeed then bail as an option will disappear? Why should the state offer bail if they get the money back anyway?

    Throwing good money after bad, unless some wanky establishment arrangement has been, er, arranged.

  4. Why they ever thought the Blessed Julian wouldn’t at some point double cross them beats me. He must be getting a bit fed up pacing in his room in Knightsbridge. Hope so.

  5. Long may Assange remain in the Columbian Embassy. His weekly balcony speeches on CIA conspiracies, extra-terrestrial lizards etc, will become as much of a tourist attraction as the changing of the guard.

  6. @BiF: He’s in the Colombian embassy now?

    That’s a damn shame. They’ll likely turn him in, and I’d hate to see the pious lefties get any of their money back.

  7. Surely this bid will get thrown out as soon as it reaches court?
    These supporters don;t seem to understand what bail is.

  8. I have to say, I laughed so hard when I heard that Julian had skipped bail. The sight of rich lefties being ‘betrayed’ and losing their money is just unbearably funny.

    But this whining appeal for their money back really takes the biscuit. The rules only apply one way?

    And I wonder if they’ve actually thought the consequences that their appeal through. In the unlikely event they win their whiny case, it will drive a coach and horses through the very concept of bail. Bail is a surety. A bond. Tim said it is a bet, but it is also a legally binding contract. When you lose a bet or break a contract you lose. If you bet everything you lose everything.

    If a potential absconder knows that his bail providers will get their money back, what is to stop him heading for Mexico (or a small back room in the Colombian Embassy?)

  9. Tim, the court asked them for evidence they attempted to persuade Assange privately and publicly to surrender to the authorities. Presumably then it would make a difference if they can persuade the court they did so.

    But as the Telegraph article reports, they admit they did not publicly attempt to persuade Assange to surrender.

  10. “Presumably then it would make a difference if they can persuade the court they did so.”

    Not necessarily. The plaintiffs made certain claims. The court is asking for evidence to back up the claims. That’s all we really know at this point. It may turn out as you presume, or it may turn out to be only due diligence by the court.

  11. Maybe the court is having a laugh itself and trying to run their lawyers fees up as much as possible.

  12. @MellorSJ (#8): I didn’t think that the standers for bail got their money back when the absconder was apprehended again. But then IANAL.

  13. The Pedant-General

    WTF? If you put up bail for someone and they then jump, you lose it. End of.

    Why is this even being entertained by the courts at all? Other that what Matthew L said obviously.

  14. @MellorSJ

    I had a quick look when I was last in London. It’s the Ecuadorian embassy, which shares a 1890s (?) mansion block with the Columbian Embassy. It (the Ecuadorian one) is in Flat 3B.

    Stake outs were pretty amateurish.

  15. Re PaulB at 17, I’m looking forward to the bit where everyone else who’s posted on the thread admits they were completely wrong about everything. 😉

  16. We are likewise waiting for john b to admit he has been wrong about nearly everything (not being bigots we are willing to recognise that he might occasionally get something right).

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