(Reuters) - Ecuador on Thursday granted political asylum to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange. Here 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 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 WikiLeaks.org. 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.
November 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.
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. Bail, set at 200,000 pounds, is eventually granted on December 16.
August 25, 2011 - WikiLeaks releases thousands of previously unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables from its cache of more than 250,000 State Department reports.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 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 - 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.
August 16 - Ecuador grants Assange political asylum.
Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit