Timeline: Julian Assange's extradition battle

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media outside the High Court in London on December 5, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Ecuador grants asylum to Assange, who remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London
  • UK police say they will not grant safe passage to Wikileaks founder
  • Ecuador Foreign Minister says British authorities have threatened to "assault" embassy

August 20, 2010

Swedish prosecutors issue an arrest warrant for Julian Assange amid allegations of rape and molestation from two female Wikileaks volunteers earlier that month. The next day, the prosecutor's office announces it is rescinding the arrest warrant while the rape charge is unfounded. The molestation allegation remains.

August 31, 2010

Assange is questioned by Stockholm police and formally told of the charges against him, all of which he denies as a smear campaign. Swedish prosecutors announce the next day that they are reopening the rape case against him, while the molestation charge will be upgraded to sexual coercion and sexual molestation.

November 18, 2010

Assange resisting extradition
Assange resisting extradition


    Assange resisting extradition


Assange resisting extradition 01:00
Will Assange achieve asylum?
Will Assange achieve asylum?


    Will Assange achieve asylum?


Will Assange achieve asylum? 02:34
Friend says Assange 'running for justice'
Friend says Assange 'running for justice'


    Friend says Assange 'running for justice'


Friend says Assange 'running for justice' 08:43
Police seek Assange after asylum claim
Police seek Assange after asylum claim


    Police seek Assange after asylum claim


Police seek Assange after asylum claim 00:44

Swedish prosecutors announce the courts have approved their request to issue arrest warrants to question Assange, who is now in London. On November 20, the Stockholm Criminal Court issues an international arrest warrant for Assange, stating he is suspected of several counts of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force. Interpol later issues a "red notice" upon Sweden's request.

December 8, 2010

Assange turns himself in to London police. He is remanded in custody after an extradition hearing finds him a flight risk. On December 16, the court finalizes its decision to grant him conditional bail. Celebrity supporters rally around him, paying his £240,000 ($376,000) bail and providing a mansion for his house arrest.

February 7- 24, 2011

Assange attends extradition hearings at London's Belmarsh Magistrate's Court, which ultimately rules in support of his extradition to Sweden. Assange then launches an appeal at the High Court.

November 2, 2011

After a series of hearings in July, the British High Court defers its decision until November, ultimately ruling against Assange's appeal. Assange has two weeks to seek the court's permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

December 5, 2011

The High Court announces that Assange will be allowed to appeal its decision on the legal technicality of whether the Swedish public prosecutor is a judicial authority, a status needed to sign an arrest warrant. The case now moves to the Supreme Court, Britain's highest judicial authority.

May 30, 2012

The Supreme Court denies Assange's appeal against his extradition to Sweden, but in an unusual move, grants him permission to file an appeal. On June 14, it dismisses his application to reopen his appeal.

June 19, 2012

Assange flees to Ecuador's embassy in London to request political asylum. London police say he is subject to arrest for breaking the terms of his bail by seeking asylum.

August 15, 2012

Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, says his government will announce its decision on Assange's asylum request the next day. He says Ecuador received written notice from British authorities that they would "assault" the country's embassy in London if Assange was not handed over.

August 16, 2012

Ecuador announces it has granted asylum to Assange because it believes he will be politically persecuted if extradited. The UK says it is disappointed by the decision and will not grant safe passage out of the country to Assange, who has now been holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London for nearly two months.


    • Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gather in southeast London in February 2011.

      WikiLeaks 101

      From "Climategate" to leaked diplomatic cables, CNN takes an inside look at the WikiLeaks organization.
    • Chelsea Manning breaks silence

      A U.S. soldier imprisoned for leaking documents to WikiLeaks broke her silence in a fiery editorial accusing the United States of lying about Iraq.
    • Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted from court on July 25, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland on July 25, 2013. The trial of Manning, accused of 'aiding the enemy' by giving secret documents to WikiLeaks, is entering its final stage Thursday as both sides present closing arguments. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

      Manning, acquitted and guilty

      A military judge acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy, but convicted him of violations of the Espionage Act for turning over a trove of classified data to the website WikiLeaks.
    • Pfc. Bradley Manning is suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents

      Who is Bradley Manning?

      Bradley Manning is naturally adept at computers, smart and opinionated, even brash, according to those who say they know him.
    • assange snowden

      Assange slams Obama 'betrayal'

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange urged the world to "stand with" Edward Snowden, the man who admitted leaking top-secret details about U.S. surveillance programs.
    • Do you aspire to be the next Julian Assange or create a site like WikiLeaks? You'll have your work cut out for you.

      Bright future for leaking?

      Julian Assange is waiting to hear if Ecuador will grant him asylum. He's dangling from a cliff, for sure. Hanging by a pinky next to him -- WikiLeaks.
    • shubert julian assange elections embassy short_00005904

      How Assange changed

      Holed up in Ecuador's Embassy in London, Julian Assange talks at length about his life and motivations.
    • lkl elbagir assange next move_00002403

      Famous embassy escape precedents

      Assange's move is dramatic, but he's not the first person to seek an escape route through a diplomatic mission. Here are some key precedents.
    • assange

      Who is Julian Assange?

      Assange is a self-appointed champion of free speech and the founder of a web operation that has greatly antagonized the U.S. government.