December 5, 2011 / 12:02 PM / 8 years ago

Timeline: WikiLeaks saga

(Reuters) - Here is a timeline of the main elements in the WikiLeaks saga as Britain’s High Court ruled on Monday that founder Julian Assange can appeal against his extradition to Sweden.

April 5, 2010 - Internet group 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 2 - Swedish court refuses Assange permission to appeal.

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.

— 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.

December 11 - A loose grouping of cyber activists supporting WikiLeaks abandons its strategy of online attacks on organizations seen as hostile to the site in favor of spreading the leaked documents far and wide online.

— Internet activists operating under the name “Anonymous” temporarily bring down websites of credit card giants MasterCard and Visa — both of which had stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks.

December 13 - Assange says in a documentary he faces prosecution by the United States and is disappointed with how Swedish justice had been abused.

December 14 - A British judge grants bail of 200,000 pounds ($317,400) for the release of Assange. Prosecutors, representing Swedish authorities, say they will appeal against the bail decision and Judge Howard Riddle says Assange must remain in custody until a new hearing is held within 48 hours.

December 16 - London’s High Court upholds the decision and grants bail to Assange.

February 24, 2011 - A British judge approves the Swedish request to extradite Assange to face accusations of sex crimes. Assange’s lawyer says he will appeal.

June 24 - Assange hires a new legal team, replacing Mark Stephens with prominent human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

July 13 - Judges defer a decision on Assange’s extradition.

August 25 - WikiLeaks releases thousands of previously unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables from its cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports.

September 28 - Assange complains about release of an “unauthorized” version of his autobiography.

October 24 - Assange says WikiLeaks will have to stop publishing secret cables and devote itself to fund-raising if it is unable to stop U.S. firms such as Visa and MasterCard blocking payments by the end of 2011.

November 2 - Britain’s High Court says Assange should be extradited to Sweden.

December 5 - The High Court gives permission to appeal against his extradition to Sweden. He can now take his year-long legal fight to the Supreme Court, Britain’s highest court. He now has 14 days in which to formally lodge an appeal.

— The application rests on two legal questions: Is the warrant for Assange’s arrest valid and can he be considered an “accused” person as required under extradition laws when no decision has been taken over whether he will be prosecuted? (Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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