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Prominent supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including film director Ken Loach, stand to lose up to £240,000 ($376,000) in bail money they provided when he first faced extradition from the U.K. in 2010, the Guardian reported.
Assange, who lost an appeal to the U.K. Supreme Court against his extradition to Sweden where he faces sexual assault charges, earlier this week sought asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. That breached the terms of his bail.
Celebrity and other supporters would have to persuade the courts, which are likely to decide they forfeited their money, the Guardian cited a legal expert as saying.
“There would have to be a pretty good reason why the money shouldn’t be forfeited,” said Oliver Lewis, partner at Powell Spencer and Partners. “Usually the court says ‘thank you very much, you have lost your money’. You have to show that you have been vigilant and put every effort in to stop it happening.”
Loach and other supporters in 2010 posted a cash security of £200,000 ($313,000) and a further £40,000 ($63,000) in sureties.
The Guardian also mentioned socialite Jemima Khan, publisher Felix Dennis and model-actress Tracy Worcester as Assange bail money providers.
But human rights activist Bianca Jagger denied reports that she was also involved. “I would like to set the record straight,” she tweeted. “I didn’t post bail for Julian Assange.”
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