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Key events in Assange's life and times


July 1971 - Assange born in Townsville to parents who were involved in theatre and travelled frequently.

In his teens, Assange gains a reputation as a sophisticated computer programmer

1995 - arrested and pleads guilty to hacking. Fined but avoids prison on condition he does not reoffend. Studies mathematics and physics at Melbourne University in In his late 20s

2006 - launches WikiLeaks, creating a web-based "dead letter drop" for would-be leakers. Says it's a non-profit organisation funded by human rights campaigners, journalists and the general public, with the aim of fighting government and corporate corruption

April 2010 - WikiLeaks publishes classified video showing a 2007 US helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff

July 2010 - releases more than 90,000 classified US military documents on war in Afghanistan

October 2010 - publishes about 400,000 more secret US files on Iraq war. The two leaks represent the largest security breaches of their kind in US military history

- followed by the release of 250,000 secret diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world, with some of the information published by newspapers such as the New York Times and Britain's Guardian

- leaks anger and embarrass US politicians and military officials, who said lives were put at risk; condemned by US allies such as Britain

November 18, 2010 - Swedish court orders Assange's detention as a result of an investigation into allegations of sex crimes made by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers

December 7, 2010 - Assange arrested by British police on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Sweden

December 16, 2010 - denies the allegations and eventually granted bail. Says from the outset he believed Swedish case a pretext to extradite him to the US to face charges over the WikiLeaks releases

February 2011 - his extradition to Sweden for questioning ordered; subsequent appeals fail

June 19, 2012 - he enters Ecuadorian embassy in London seeking asylum; 10 days later a judge at London's Westminster Magistrates Court issued a warrant for his arrest.

August 16, 2012 - Ecuador grants Assange asylum

February 2016 - A UN panel says Assange has been arbitrarily detained; Britain calls that description "ridiculous", saying his detention is voluntary

November 14, 2016 - Swedish prosecutors question Assange at the embassy in London about the alleged sex crimes for about four hours

May 19, 2017 - Swedish prosecutors announce they have dropped their investigation and withdrawn their arrest warrant

- British police say he would still be arrested if he left the embassy because there of the outstanding warrant for failing to surrender to bail

January 2018 - Ecuador grants Assange citizenship after Britain refuses a request for him to be given diplomatic status

January 26, 2018 - Assange's lawyers ask London's Westminster Magistrates Court to drop the arrest warrant against him because it no longer applies as Sweden's warrant has been withdrawn

February 6, 2018 - Judge Emma Arbuthnot rejects his bid to have the warrant withdrawn; she agrees to consider whether, even if Assange were arrested and brought to court, it would actually be in the interests of justice to take any further action against him

February 13, 2018 - Judge Arbuthnot rejects all Assange's legal counsel's arguments and upholds the arrest warrant.

© RAW 2018