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Timeline: WikiLeaks' Assange fights extradition

Timeline of the main elements in the WikiLeaks saga as a British court approved a Swedish request on Thursday to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face accusations of sex crimes.

world Updated: Feb 24, 2011 20:22 IST

Here is a timeline of the main elements in the WikiLeaks saga as a British court approved a Swedish request on Thursday to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face accusations of sex crimes.

April 5, 2010 - Internet group WikiLeaks releases a video showing a 2007 US helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff.

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

June 7 - The US 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 US military reports about the war in Afghanistan, are released by WikiLeaks.org.

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

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

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

Nov. 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.

Nov. 28 - WikiLeaks releases more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables that include candid views of foreign leaders and blunt assessments of security threats.

Nov. 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 Dec. 2.

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 to the 39-year-old.

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

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

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

-- Internet activists operating under the name "Anonymous" temporarily brought down the websites of credit card giants MasterCard and Visa -- both of which had stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks. Dec. 13 - Assange says in a documentary he faces prosecution by the United States and is disappointed with how Swedish justice had been abused.

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

Dec. 16 - London's High Court upholds the decision and grants bail to Assange. Assange stays at a mansion, three hours northeast of London, as part of his bail conditions after being freed from nine days in prison. Feb. 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.