Key dates in the Julian Assange case

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange - (Copyright PA Archive)
16:53pm, Thu 01 Oct 2020
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will have to wait until 2021 to find out if he will be extradited to the US.

The charges date back to 2010 and 2011, when thousands of classified documents said to expose “outrageous, even murderous wrongdoing, war crimes, torture and atrocities on civilians” were leaked by defence analyst Chelsea Manning and published by WikiLeaks.

Here is a timeline of some key dates on what happened next:

– 2010

– August: An arrest warrant is issued for Julian Assange for two separate allegations – one of rape and one of molestation – after he visits Sweden for a speaking trip. He is questioned by police in Stockholm and denies the allegations.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange outside the Royal Courts of Justice in 2010 - (Copyright PA Archive)

– November: Stockholm District Court approves a request to detain the WikiLeaks founder for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. An international arrest warrant is issued by Swedish police through Interpol.

– December: Assange presents himself to London police and appears at an extradition hearing where he is remanded in custody.

Assange is later granted conditional bail at the High Court in London after his supporters offer £240,000 in cash and sureties.

Donald Trump calls for the death penalty for Assange.

– 2011

– February: District Judge Howard Riddle rules that Assange should be extradited to Sweden.

– November: Assange loses a High Court appeal against the decision.

– 2012

– May: The UK Supreme Court upholds the High Court decision in the case.

– June 19: Assange enters the Ecuadorian embassy in London, requesting political asylum. A day later, Scotland Yard confirms he will be subject to arrest for breaching his bail conditions.

– 2013

Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London - (Copyright PA Archive)

– June: Assange says he will not leave the embassy even if sex allegations against him are dropped, because he fears moves are under way to extradite him to the United States.

– 2014

– July: He loses a legal bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him cancelled.

– 2015

– August 13: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some of the sex allegations against Assange due to time restrictions. The investigation into suspected rape remains active.

– October 12: The Metropolitan Police end their 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorian embassy. It breaks a three-year police operation which is estimated to have cost more than £12 million.

– 2016

– September 16: Sweden’s Court of Appeal rejects a bid by Assange to have his sex assault warrant dropped.

– October 2016: WikiLeaks publishes DNC (Democratic National Committee) emails to the political benefit of Mr Trump, who remarks during his campaign: “I love WikiLeaks.”

– November 14: Assange is questioned for two days over the sex allegation at the Ecuadorian embassy in the presence of Sweden’s assistant prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and police inspector Cecilia Redell.

– 2017

Chelsea Manning - (Copyright PA Archive)

– January 17: Barack Obama’s decision to free whistleblower Chelsea Manning prompts speculation over Assange’s position.

– April 21: America’s attorney general Jeff Sessions says Assange’s arrest is a “priority” for the United States.

– May 19: An investigation into a sex allegation against Assange is dropped by Sweden’s director of public prosecutions.

– August 15: Assange is allegedly offered a deal to avoid extradition in exchange for revealing the source of hacked Democratic Party emails to end speculation over Russian involvement.

– December: Unnamed US figures who have been paying a security contractor to bug Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy discuss a desperate plan to kidnap or poison him, it is claimed.

– 2018

– August 9: The United States Senate Committee asks to interview Assange as part of its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Julian Assange leaves court in January 2020 - (Copyright PA Wire)

– September 27: Assange steps down as editor of WikiLeaks.

– 2019

– Mr Trump claims to know nothing about WikiLeaks, only that “there is something having to do with Julian Assange”.

– January 10: A legal defence fund is launched for Assange amid fears that he is under “increasingly serious threat”.

– January 23: Lawyers for Assange say they are taking action aimed at making Mr Trump’s administration reveal charges “secretly filed” against him.

– March: Ms Manning is jailed again for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

– April 11: Assange is arrested after the Ecuadorian government withdraws his asylum, blaming his “repeated violations” of “international conventions and daily-life protocols”.

He is found guilty of breaching the Bail Act and remanded in custody at Belmarsh prison.

– May 1: Assange is sentenced to 50 weeks imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court. He continues to be held on remand in Belmarsh from September after serving the custodial sentence.

– May 19: Swedish authorities resume the investigation into the alleged rape.– November 19: : The alleged rape investigation involving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is discontinued.

– 2020

Rapper MIA after visiting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison in Woolwich, London - (Copyright PA Archive)

– January 13: Assange appears at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and is backed by dozens of supporters including performer MIA.

– February 24: Assange faces an extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court.

Assange’s representatives argue he cannot legally be handed to the US for “political offences” because of a 2003 extradition treaty.

– March 25: Assange appears by video link at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where he is refused bail amid the coronavirus crisis.

– April 11: Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, who gave birth to his two children while he was living inside the Ecuadorian embassy, issues a plea for his release amid fears for his health.

– June 24: The US Department of Justice issues an updated 18-count indictment, over Assange’s alleged role in “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”.

– August 25: Ms Moris visits her partner in Belmarsh prison for the first time in almost six months.

– September 7: Assange’s extradition hearings resume at the Old Bailey. They are expected to go on for up to four weeks.

– October 1: Judge Vanessa Baraitser adjourned the case at the Old Bailey until January 4 when she will deliver her ruling on whether Assange should be extradited. This means he will spend Christmas in prison.

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