Timeline: Swedish prosecutors drop Assange rape probe

(Reuters) - Swedish prosecutors have dropped an investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a rape allegation, but British police said he would still be arrested if he left the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears on screen via video link during a news conference at the Frontline Club in London, Britain February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall

The following is a timeline of the most important events surrounding the case and WikiLeaks:

June 7, 2010 - The U.S. military says Army Specialist Bradley Manning, who was deployed to Baghdad, has been arrested in connection with the release of a classified video showing a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff, in the Iraqi capital. Accused of leaking government files to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and of aiding the enemy - identified as al Qaeda - Manning faces a court-martial in September 2012.

July 25 - More than 91,000 documents, most of them secret U.S. military reports about the war in Afghanistan, are released by In October, WikiLeaks releases another 400,000 classified military files chronicling the war in Iraq from 2004 to 2009, the largest leak of its kind in U.S. military history.

Nov. 18 - A Swedish court orders Assange’s detention due to an investigation by a Swedish prosecutor into allegations against him of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

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

Dec. 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. Bail, set at 200,000 pounds, is eventually granted on Dec. 16.

Aug. 25, 2011 - WikiLeaks releases thousands of previously unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables from its cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports.

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

Nov. 2 - Britain’s High Court rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden. A month later, Assange is given permission to appeal. However, the court backs Assange’s extradition to Sweden in May 2012 over alleged sex crimes. Assange appeals in June, but it is rejected.

June 19, 2012- Assange takes refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London and asks for political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden. Police say the next day he faces arrest for breaking the conditions of his bail.

Aug. 16 - Ecuador grants Assange political asylum.

Nov. 20, 2014 - A Swedish appeals court upholds a lower court’s rejection of an appeal by Assange to revoke the detention order, but called on prosecutors to make more effort to question him.

March 13, 2015 - After years of insisting Assange must go to Stockholm for questioning, Swedish prosecutors said they want to interview him at Ecuador’s London embassy.

May 11 - The Swedish Supreme Court also upholds the decision to reject Assange’s appeal to revoke the detention order.

Aug. 13 - Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into the allegations of sexual assault against Assange because they had run out of time to bring charges but continue with investigations over the rape allegation.

Sept. 16, 2016 - A Swedish appeals court turns down another request by Assange to review the detention order.

Nov. 14-15 - Assange is interviewed at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. A Swedish prosecutor posed the questions through an Ecuadorian prosecutor.

Jan. 5, 2017 - Swedish prosecutors say they have received a transcript of the November questioning.

March 17 - Federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, have expanded a long-running grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks.

April 2 - Lenin Moreno wins Ecuador’s presidential election. His conservative opponent had vowed to remove Assange from the embassy.

April 13 - CIA Director Mike Pompeo calls WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service”, using his first public speech as spy agency chief to denounce leakers who have plagued U.S. intelligence.

May 3 - Assange’s lawyer again requests a Swedish court to rescind the detention order.

May 19 - Swedish prosecutors say they are dropping their investigation into Assange over the rape allegation, saying there were no further avenues to pursue to take the investigation forward. London police say he will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy building.

Editing by Gareth Jones