Timeline: Assange fate in hands of UK top court

Wed Feb 1, 2012 7:45am EST

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(Reuters) - Here is a timeline of the main elements in the WikiLeaks saga as the website's founder, Julian Assange, appealed to Britain's top court to prevent him being extradited to Sweden on sex crime charges:

April 5, 2010 - WikiLeaks releases a video showing a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff.

-- Eight days later U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticizes WikiLeaks, saying it released the video without providing any context explaining the situation.

June 7 - The U.S. military says that Army Specialist Bradley Manning, who was deployed to Baghdad, has been arrested in connection with the release of the classified video.

July 25 - More than 91,000 documents, most of which are secret U.S. military reports about the war in Afghanistan, are released by WikiLeaks.org.

October 22 - WikiLeaks releases some 400,000 classified U.S. military files chronicling the Iraq war from 2004 to 2009, the largest leak of its kind in U.S. military history.

November 18 - A Swedish court orders Assange's detention as a result of an investigation begun in September by the prosecutor's office into allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

November 28 - WikiLeaks releases thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables that include candid views of foreign leaders and blunt assessments of security threats.

December 7 - Assange is arrested by British police on a European warrant issued by Sweden and held in jail after a judge refuses to grant bail.

December 8 - Australia blames the United States for the release by WikiLeaks of U.S. diplomatic cables and says Assange should not be held responsible.

December 14 - A British judge grants bail of 200,000 pounds ($317,000) for the release of Assange. Prosecutors, representing Sweden, appeal against the bail decision. Two days later the decision to grant bail is upheld by London's High Court.

August 25, 2011 - WikiLeaks releases thousands of previously unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables from its cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports.

October 24 - Assange says WikiLeaks will have to stop publishing secret cables and devote itself to fund-raising.

November 2 - Britain's High Court says Assange should be extradited to Sweden. A month later Assange is given permission to appeal the decision.

February 1, 2012 - Assange launches a new appeal to Britain's Supreme Court not to extradite him to Sweden. The Court is expected to announce its decision in some weeks.

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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