Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were ordered to pay more than $150,000 after he skipped bail in an attempt to seek asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London.
The nine people in February 2011 agreed to pay $32,000 to a U.K. court if Assange did not surrender himself to custody.
Assange, if he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy, faces extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes, charges that he has denied.
Recently, his supporters offered the sureties before he holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy earlier this year.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle of the Westminster Magistrates’ Court said on Monday: “In declining to publicly (or as far as I know privately) urge Mr. Assange to surrender himself they [the supporters] 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,” Riddle added, according to the Daily Telegraph. Riddle reduced the bail payment by nearly half and gave the nine a month to come up with the money.
The U.K. previously said that it has an obligation to send Assange to Sweden. Assange, his supporters, and the Ecuadorian government have said that he might eventually be sent to the United States and would face charges relating to WikiLeaks’ publishing of hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables.
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