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WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: a timeline

AFP/The Local · 2 Nov 2011, 13:58

Published: 02 Nov 2011 13:58 GMT+01:00

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Here is a timeline of the whistleblowing website's rise to prominence and subsequent attempts to clamp down on the site and extradite its founder:

December 2006

Wikileaks.org is set up by a group of people including Assange, an Australian former computer hacker. Its aim is to let whistleblowers post sensitive documents on the Internet without being traced.

February 2008

WikiLeaks faces its first serious legal challenge over its publication of internal documents showing Swiss bank Julius Baer helped clients launder funds via the Cayman Islands.

November 2009

Wikileaks publishes a huge archive of text pager messages recorded in the US on September 11, 2001, the day hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

April 2010

WikiLeaks releases a video of a US military Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad in 2007 which killed two Reuters employees. A 22-year-old American soldier, Bradley Manning, is arrested and charged with leaking the information.

July 25

The site publishes nearly 77,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan. The documents reveal details of civilian victims and supposed links between Pakistan and the Taliban.

August 21

The Swedish judicial authorities issue an arrest warrant for Assange on charges of rape. They later rescind the measure, but renew it the following month.

October 23

WikiLeaks publishes some 400,000 reports of incidents written from 2004 to 2009 by US soldiers, revealing torture by Iraqi forces and evidence that US forces turned a blind eye to it.

November 18

A Swedish prosecutor issues a European arrest warrant for Assange.

November 28

WikiLeaks starts releasing more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables, revealing the often frank assessments of American officials on a huge range of issues as well as the views of other governments.

December 7

Assange hands himself in to police in London and is placed in custody pending a ruling on the Swedish extradition request.

December 16

Assange is released on bail and tells journalists the Swedish rape allegations are part of a smear campaign against him. Under the bail conditions, he must live at a supporter's country mansion in eastern England.

February 24, 2011

A British judge rules Assange can be extradited to Sweden, rejecting claims that the Swedish prosecutor had no power to issue the European arrest warrant and that the allegations did not amount to extradition offences.

The decision followed a three-day hearing earlier in the month, when lawyer Geoffrey Robertson said Assange would face a "flagrant denial of justice" if extradited.

July 12

Story continues below…

Assange begins his appeal against the extradition ruling. A decision is delayed until November.

September 22

An unauthorised biography of Assange hits the shelves in Britain despite his efforts to stop its publication. It is based on hours of interviews he gave to a ghost writer, and includes a strong denial of the allegations.

"I did not rape those women and cannot imagine anything that happened between us that would make them think so, except malice after the fact, a joint plan to entrap me, or a terrifying misunderstanding that was stoked up between them," he wrote.

October 24

Assange announces that WikiLeaks is suspending publishing classified US diplomatic files to focus on fundraising, after losing 95 percent of its revenue following a financial blockade imposed by Visa, MasterCard and others.

November 2

Two High Court judges reject Assange's appeal against his extradition on all four counts. He now has 14 days to decide whether he will try to take the case to the Supreme Court, although leave to appeal must first be granted.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:21 November 4, 2011 by OUIJA
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:40 November 4, 2011 by Archie1954
The whole Swedish scenario smells rotten just as if it was Denmark (Shakespeare). Why does the Swedish justice department require Mr. Assange in person, in Sweden to answer a few questions? The government has spent a small fortune to get him into their clutches when they could have easily and inexpensively sent a prosecutor to question him in London. Why did the original investigating prosecutor dismiss the potential for a crime to have been committed. Why did the political official intervene and have the dismissal abrogated? Why did one of the supposed vicitms crow about her sexual conquest the next day. Is the Swedish government simply attempting to do the Americans' dirty work for them? Will it turn Mr. Assange over to the American form of injustice at the first opportunity? This matter is a test of the ethical and moral basis of Swedish judicial system and its national political governance.
18:38 November 4, 2011 by xexon
In the world of intelligence, one of the easiest ways to shut somebody up is to involve them is a sex scandal of some kind.

And since this is a man who has outed things certain intelligence agencies would rather you not know about, you can connect the dots on your own.

Swedish law is pretty lax compared to say US law. Even if he's found guilty, what can he expect as punishment? Anybody?

While I greatly appreciate Sweden's open society, your government reeks of foreign operatives. It's not serving you half as much as it is somebody else.

I know, because the US government has the exact same problem.

10:25 November 7, 2011 by Deusultima

To answer your question of what would happen is not as easy as it may seem. The crimes Assange is accused of are not very grave; while rape may seem severe that is not always the case in Sweden- we do have a very wide usage of the term.

My (and I have heard experts stating this as well) take is that if Assange is found guilty he will be facing up to perhaps $10000 in fines and maybe up to a month in low security prison at worst, but imprisonment is not very likely.
14:49 November 7, 2011 by philster61
Its not a question of if , but "when" he will be found guilty... He has already been convicted in the eyes of the Swedish media..... When the process is finished its a matter of time before Sweden extradites him to the U.S..... Then a matter of time until he is found guilty of espionage and then sentenced to death......
07:03 November 8, 2011 by sleezypornorangutang
Has anyone ever heard of wikileaks uncovering something meaningful?

Just small time stuff that anyone with a modern phone could take footage of, or cause a bit of stir in the net with.

Yeah, there's someone shooting of a helicopter at civilians, (as if about all the world didn't know that crap goes on allways, when a yank is given a helicopter and a gun)

Sure, a big ole pile of cables that really don't even make the news anymore.

Of all the places on earth, they choose Sweden, the country where, half the population goes on a march for peace when a couple of pissed off patriots (or whatever you wanna call them) says "boo!"

Tell me, why is it all so fluent and easy, sort of?
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