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Supporters of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange ordered to pay his bail

By Henry Chu Published: October 9, 2012

But he said the integrity of the bail system needed to be upheld. Moreover, it should have been clear to the nine supporters that Assange, who had vowed to fight extradition tooth and nail, posed a substantial flight risk, Riddle said.

The judge reduced the amount of money to be paid from the originally pledged sum of $224,000 to $150,000, out of recognition of some of the backers' limited means. The nine include Nobel Prize-winning biologist John Sulston and journalist Phillip Knightley.

Assange's decision to seek refuge in the embassy, where he has been holed up since June 19, precipitated a diplomatic standoff.

Ecuador has granted Assange asylum, but British officials insist that they are legally bound to hand him over to Sweden. Scotland Yard has promised to arrest him the moment he steps off embassy premises.

Assange, who is an Australian national, was first arrested in London in December 2010 on suspicion of sexually assaulting two women on separate occasions in Stockholm in August of that year. He acknowledges having sex with the women but says it was consensual.

His appeal against extradition has been rejected by both Britain's High Court and its Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in the land.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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