Timeline - Assange in jail as sympathisers hack websites

LONDON (Reuters) - Here is a timeline of the main elements in the WikiLeaks saga.


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

-- Eight days later U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates criticises 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

-- The “Afghan War Diary” is a compilation of documents and reports, covering the war in Afghanistan back to 2004.

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

-- They involve subjects including abuse of Iraqi prisoners in U.S. custody, Iraqi rights violations and civilian deaths.

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 more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables that include candid views of foreign leaders and blunt assessments of security threats.

-- Saudi King Abdullah has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran’s nuclear programme and China directed cyberattacks on the United States, according to some of the diplomatic cables released.

November 30 - Assange’s lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, lodges an appeal against an arrest order with Sweden’s High Court. Sweden’s court refuses permission to Assange to appeal on December 2.

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 to the 39-year-old. He will appear for a hearing on December 14.

-- Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny says the sexual misconduct case against Assange is a personal matter and not connected with his work releasing secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

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.

-- Suspected attacks by hackers sympathetic to Assange and against censorship bring down the websites of the prosecution Swedish authority and the website of Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer for the two women making the accusations against Assange.

-- Assange supporters say they crash the website of credit card firm MasterCard in apparent retaliation for its blocking of donations to the WikiLeaks website.

Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit