Wednesday 15 December 2010

Julian Assange and Bail

As of this morning, Mr Julian Assange remains detained in prison - The Guardian 15th December.  He was granted conditional bail on Tuesday 14th December but there is to be an appeal against that decision to the High Court. 

The Magistrates' Court imposed a considerable number of conditions on Assange's bail:
  • Security of £200,000 - i.e. money which must be actually deposited with the court before bail commences
  •  Two sureties of £20,000 each - a surety is an undertaking by a person to ensure that the person granted bail attends at court and, if he does not, then the whole or part of the money can be forfeited
  •  Surrender of passport
  •  Not to apply for international travel documents
  •  Residence at a stated address
  •  Curfew (electronically monitored) from 10pm to 2pm and 10am to 2pm.
  •  Daily reporting to the Police.

The District Judge allowed the media to use electronic devices in the court room - The Guardian 15th December
The Assange case has brought to public attention the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system brought into our law during the Home Secretaryship of David Blunkett (June 2001 - December 2004).  Law and Lawyers looked at it here.  It is based on the European Council Framework Decision of 13th June 2002 "European Arrest Warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States" and came into force on 1st January 2004.  The Framework Decision was given legal effect in England and Wales via the Extradition Act 2003.

Addendum - 16th December 2010:  The High Court (Ouseley J) granted Julian assange conditional bail - The Independent 16th December.  Ouseley J is reported as having pointed out how, shortly after Assange arrived in the UK from Sweden, he had been aware that the allegations against him in Sweden were still live but he had made arrangements for his solicitors to be his point of contact with the Metropolitan Police so that, in the event of a search warrant being issued, the police would not have to search for him.  The judge said: "That is not the conduct of a person who is seeking to evade justice."  

Addendum - 17th December 2010:  The Guardian reports that the U.S. is trying to prepare a case against Mr. Assange.

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