Vaughan Smith, who allowed the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to stay at his home in Norfolk, Ellingham Hall, for over a year has told Anglia News he is "shocked" his friend has sought political asylum in Ecuador. Mr Smith also stands to lose the £20,000 he put up for Mr Assange's bail.
Julian Assange has been fighting extradition to Sweden since 2010. He is wanted for questioning there regarding allegations of sexual assault on two women. Mr Assange denies the charges and believes that Sweden may extradite him to the United States. The American government are angry over Wikileaks' publication of their secret diplomatic cables, and Mr Assange fears he may be prosecuted in America.
Last week the Supreme Court in Britain ruled that Mr Assange should be sent to Sweden. The Wikileak's founder has responded by taking refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London and is seeking political asylum in the South American country. This move violates his bail conditions; Mr Assange is now subject to arrest should he leave the embassy and those who put up the £200,000 surety for his bail may lose their money.
Among them is Vaughan Smith who put up £20,000 bail money for his friend, in addition to allowing Mr Assange to live in his Norfolk home as part of Mr Assange's bail conditions in 2010. Mr Smith has given his reaction to Anglia News:
For full coverage of the Julian Assange story on the ITV National News website, click here.