Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been fighting to avoid extradition to Sweden, which wants to question him about allegations of rape. He has spent more than three years inside the Embassy of Ecuador in London to avoid being sent to Sweden and possibly forced to go to the United States to face charges there. A United Nations panel said on Friday that he has been unlawfully detained by Swedish and British authorities. Here are key events in the Assange saga:
August 20, 2010: Swedish prosecutor issues arrest warrant for Mr. Assange based on one woman’s allegation of rape and another woman’s allegation of molestation.
August 21, 2010 : Arrest warrant is withdrawn. Prosecutor Eva Finne says there appears to be insufficient evidence for allegation of rape.
August 31, 2010: Swedish police question Mr. Assange, who denies the allegations.
September 1, 2010: Sweden’s director of prosecutions, Marianne Ny, reopens rape investigation.
September 27, 2010: Mr. Assange leaves Sweden for Britain.
November 18, 2010 : Stockholm court approves request to detain Mr. Assange for questioning.
November 20, 2010 : Swedish police issue international arrest warrant for Mr. Assange.
December 8, 2010: Mr. Assange surrenders to police in London and is detained pending extradition hearing.
December 14, 2010 : Mr. Assange is granted bail but prosecutors appeal.
December 16, 2010 : High Court grants bail. Mr. Assange is released after supporters pledge £240,000 ($375,000) in cash and sureties.
February 24, 2011: District court in Britain rules Mr. Assange should be extradited to Sweden.
November 2, 2011: High Court rejects Mr. Assange’s appeal against extradition.
December 5, 2011: Mr. Assange granted an appeal to the Supreme Court.
May 30, 2012: Supreme Court rejects Mr. Assange’s appeal.
June 12, 2012: Mr. Assange asks Supreme Court to reopen case.
June 14, 2012 : Supreme Court refuses to reopen case.
June 19, 2012: Mr. Assange enters Ecuadorean embassy in central London, seeking asylum. Police set up round-the-clock guard to arrest him if he steps outside.
August 16, 2012: Mr. Assange is granted political asylum by Ecuador.
June 2013: Mr. Assange tells journalists he will not leave the embassy even if sex allegations against him are dropped because he fears he will be extradited to the United States.
July 2014: Mr.Assange loses bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him cancelled. A judge in Stockholm upholds the warrant alleging sexual offences against two women.
September 2014 : Mr. Assange’s lawyers submit a complaint against Sweden and Britain to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention claiming his situation in the embassy amounts to illegal detention.
November 2014: Mr. Assange loses a legal move in a Swedish appeal court aimed at revoking his arrest warrant.
March 2015: Swedish prosecutors ask to question Mr. Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy.
June 2015: Mr. Assange claims the Swedish prosecutor has cancelled an appointment to interview him at the embassy.
August 13, 2015: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some of the sex allegations against Mr. Assange because of the statute of limitations; investigation into a rape allegation remains active.
August 16, 2015: British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire says Ecuador’s decision to harbour Mr. Assange had prevented the proper course of justice. He said U.K. has a legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden.
October 12, 2015: Metropolitan Police end their 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorean embassy but say they will use overt and covert means to track and arrest Mr. Assange if he leaves. It ends a three-year police operation which is estimated to have cost more than £12 million ($17 million).
February 5, 2016: Mr. Assange >claims “total vindication” as the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention >finds that he has been unlawfully detained and recommends he be immediately freed and given compensation. Britain and Sweden say the finding will have no impact on their policy. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond calls the finding “frankly ridiculous”.