The following paragraph is from an article in The New Yorker, called No Secrets, on Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.
Assange, facing a potential sentence of ten years in prison, found the state’s reaction confounding. He bought Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The First Circle,” a novel about scientists and technicians forced into the Gulag, and read it three times. (“How close the parallels to my own adventures!” he later wrote.) He was convinced that “look/see” hacking was a victimless crime, and intended to fight the charges. But the other members of the group decided to coöperate. “When a judge says, ‘The prisoner shall now rise,’ and no one else in the room stands—that is a test of character,” he told me. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to twenty-five charges and six were dropped. But at his final sentencing the judge said, “There is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to—what’s the expression—surf through these various computers.” Assange’s only penalty was to pay the Australian state a small sum in damages. What is the meaning of "and no one else in the room stands- that is a test of character"? Does it mean that he was the only one who stood up because the other members decided to cooperate? Does this indicate anything about whether he knew that the others had decided to cooperate, or was it a surprise to him when the others did not rise? I am assuming that they were all being tried in the same court at the same time. Why didn't the judge say "prisoners" if all of them were being tried?