Julian Assange's Extradition: Before Court Verdict Today, a Look at Timeline of WikiLeaks Founder
A lorry with a billboard of Julian Assange arrives at the Old Bailey court in London, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 as the Julian Assange extradition hearing to the US continues. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A London court will deliver a ruling on Monday on whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges.
Following are some key events and details in Assange's life:
July 1971 – Assange is born in Townsville, Australia, to parents involved in theatre. As a teenager, he gains a reputation as a computer programmer, and in 1995 is fined for computer hacking but avoids prison on condition he does not offend again.
2006 – Founds WikiLeaks, creating an internet-based "dead letter drop" for leakers of classified or sensitive information.
April 5, 2010 – WikiLeaks releases leaked video from a U.S. helicopter showing an air strike that killed civilians in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff.
July 25, 2010 – WikiLeaks releases over 91,000 documents, mostly secret U.S. military reports about the Afghanistan war.
October, 2010 – WikiLeaks releases 400,000 classified military files chronicling the Iraq war. The next month, it releases thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, including candid views of foreign leaders and blunt assessments of security threats.
Nov. 18, 2010 – A Swedish court orders Assange's arrest over rape allegations, which he denies. He is arrested in Britain the next month on a European Arrest Warrant but freed on bail.
February 2011 – London's Westminster Magistrates Court orders Assange's extradition to Sweden. He appeals.
June 14, 2012 – The British Supreme Court rejects Assange's final appeal and five days later he takes refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London and seeks political asylum, which Ecuador grants in August 2012.
May 19, 2017 – Swedish prosecutors discontinue their investigation, saying it is impossible to proceed while Assange is in the Ecuadorean Embassy.
April 11, 2019 – Assange is carried out of the Ecuadorean Embassy and arrested after Ecuador revokes his political asylum. He is sentenced on May 1 to 50 weeks in prison by a British court for skipping bail. He completes the sentence early but remains jailed pending extradition hearings.
May 13, 2019 – Swedish prosecutors reopen their investigation and say they will seek Assange's extradition to Sweden.
June 11, 2019 – The U.S. Justice Department formally asks Britain to extradite Assange to the United States to face charges that he conspired to hack U.S. government computers and violated an espionage law.
Nov. 19, 2019 – Swedish prosecutors drop their rape investigation, saying the evidence is not strong enough to bring charges, in part because of the passage of time.
Feb. 21, 2020 – A London court begins the first part of extradition hearings. On Oct. 1, 2020, Judge Vanessa Baraitser says she will give her ruling on Jan. 4, 2021.