Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Julian Assange and his "admirable" backers

The Telegraph reports that the folk who stood bail for alleged sex pest Julian Assange have been ordered to stump up £93,500. It seems the judge has treated them rather leniently by reducing the amount they each have to pay and by giving them a month to come up with the money.

The bit that really caught my eye was this:

 Howard Riddle, Chief Magistrate, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday: “I say immediately that I have real respect for the way that the sureties have conducted themselves in difficult circumstances.
“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 a judicial officer thinks that it's "admirable" to back someone who has broken his bail conditions? I wonder if Howard Riddle would have been so lenient if it had been a common drunk or petty thief who had skipped bail. Somehow I doubt it.