Julian Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador

The controversial Wikileaks founder, who previously spent over a year in Norfolk under his bail conditions, has sought political asylum at Ecuador's Embassy in London.

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  1. Elodie Harper

Julian Assange's bail backers will plead to keep their money

Protestors show support for Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he's sought asylum Credit: PA

Julian Assange's supporters, who raised £200,000 for his bail, are expected to start legal proceeding today that will set out why they should not now lose their money.

The WikiLeaks founder breached his bail conditions by seeking political asylum in London's Ecuadorian Embassy on the 19th June after losing his appeal against extradition to Sweden.

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over alleged sexual offences. He argues he would then be at risk of extradition to the US where the government have suffered political embarrassment through his work at WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk in December 2010 Credit: ITV Anglia

Among those arguing to keep their money is Vaughan Smith, who allowed the Wikileaks founder to stay at his home in Norfolk, Ellingham Hall, for over a year whilst Mr Assange fought extradition. Mr Smith stands to lose the £20,000 he put up as bail money for his friend. He told Anglia News:

"I understand why Julian Assange has claimed asylum. Seeking asylum is a legal procedure and so it's not my belief that I've failed in my surety duties. In my view Julian has not skipped bail nor is he evading justice; he is seeking justice."

Earlier this year Mr Smith told Anglia News he was 'shocked' Julian Assange had sought asylum and said he could not afford to lose the money.

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