Julian Assange's extradition legal saga timeline

Staff WritersAP
A poster of Julian Assange is left by protesters outside the High Court in London. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconA poster of Julian Assange is left by protesters outside the High Court in London. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's decade-and-a-half-long attempt to avoid extradition to the United States on espionage charges.

A look at key events in the long-running legal saga:

-- 2006: Assange founds WikiLeaks in Australia. The group begins publishing sensitive or classified documents

-- 2010: In a series of posts, WikiLeaks releases almost half a million documents relating to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

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-- August 2010: Swedish prosecutors issue an arrest warrant for Assange based on one woman's allegation of rape and another's allegation of molestation. Assange denies the allegations

-- September 2010: Sweden's director of prosecutions reopens the rape investigation. Assange leaves Sweden for Britain

-- November 2010: Swedish police issue an international arrest warrant for Assange

-- December 2010: Assange surrenders to police in London and is detained pending an extradition hearing. The High Court grants Assange bail

-- February 2011: A district court in Britain rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden

-- June 2012: Assange enters the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seeking asylum, after his bids to appeal the extradition ruling fail

-- August 2012: Assange is granted political asylum by Ecuador

-- July 2014: Assange loses his bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him cancelled

-- August 2015: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some allegations against Assange because of the statute of limitations; an investigation into a rape allegation remains active

-- October 2015: Britain's Metropolitan Police end their 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorian Embassy but say they'll arrest Assange if he leaves

-- February 2016: Assange claims "total vindication" as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finds that he has been unlawfully detained and recommends he be immediately freed

-- September 2018: Ecuador's president says his country and Britain are working on a legal solution to allow Assange to leave the embassy

-- October 2018: Assange seeks a court injunction pressing Ecuador to provide him basic rights he said the country agreed to when it first granted him asylum

-- April 2019: Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno blames WikiLeaks for recent corruption allegations; Ecuador's government revokes Assange's asylum status. London police haul Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy and arrest him for breaching bail conditions in 2012

-- May 2019: Assange is sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012

-- May 2019: The US government indicts Assange on 18 charges over WikiLeaks' publication of classified documents

-- November 2019: Swedish prosecutor drops rape investigation

-- May 2020: An extradition hearing for Assange is delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic

-- June 2020: The US files a new indictment against Assange that prosecutors say underscores Assange's efforts to procure and release classified information

-- January 2021: A British judge rules Assange cannot be extradited to the US because he is likely to kill himself if held under harsh US prison conditions

-- July 2021: The High Court grants the US government permission to appeal the lower court's ruling blocking Assange's extradition

-- December 2021: The High Court rules that US assurances about Assange's detention are enough to guarantee he would be treated humanely

-- March 2022: Britain's Supreme Court refuses to grant Assange permission to appeal against his extradition

-- June 2022: Britain's government orders the extradition of Assange to the United States. Assange appeals

-- May 2023: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Assange should be released and "nothing is served" by his ongoing incarceration

-- June 2023: A High Court judge rules Assange cannot appeal his extradition

-- February 20, 2024: Assange's lawyers launch a final legal bid to stop his extradition at the High Court

-- March 26, 2024: Two High Court judges in London give US authorities three more weeks to submit further assurances, including a guarantee that Assange won't get the death penalty, before deciding whether they will grant him a new appeal against his extradition

--May 20, 2024: Two High Court judges grant Assange leave to mount a fresh appeal against his extradition to the US

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