Home Australia Julian Assange’s savior: the human rights lawyer pictured smiling alongside the WikiLeaks founder on his plane ride home – and how she came from a small rural town in Australia

Julian Assange’s savior: the human rights lawyer pictured smiling alongside the WikiLeaks founder on his plane ride home – and how she came from a small rural town in Australia

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Julian Assange's savior: the human rights lawyer pictured smiling alongside the WikiLeaks founder on his plane ride home - and how she came from a small rural town in Australia

– 2006: Assange founded WikiLeaks in Australia. The group begins publishing confidential or classified documents.

– 2010: In a series of publications, WikiLeaks publishes almost half a million documents related to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

– August 2010: Swedish prosecutors issue an arrest warrant for Assange based on one woman’s rape allegation and another’s sexual assault allegation. The warrant is withdrawn shortly afterward, with prosecutors citing insufficient evidence for the rape charge. Assange denies the allegations.

– September 2010: Sweden’s director of prosecution reopens rape investigation. Assange leaves Sweden for Britain.

– November 2010: Swedish police issue international arrest warrant for Assange.

– December 2010: Assange surrenders to police in London and is detained pending an extradition hearing. The High Court grants bail to Assange.

– February 2011: A British district court rules that Assange must be extradited to Sweden.

– June 2012: Assange enters the Ecuadorian embassy in London in search of asylum, after his attempts to appeal the extradition ruling failed. He worries that Sweden will turn him over to American authorities. The police set up a 24-hour guard to arrest him if he goes out.

– August 2012: Ecuador grants him political asylum.

– July 2014: A judge in Sweden confirms the arrest warrant against him alleging sexual crimes against two women.

– March 2015: Swedish prosecutors ask to interrogate Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

– August 2015: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some allegations against Assange due to statute of limitations; An investigation into a rape allegation remains active.

– October 2015: The Metropolitan Police ends its 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorian Embassy but says it will arrest Assange if he leaves, ending a three-year police operation estimated to have cost millions.

– February 2016: Assange claims ‘full vindication’ as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determines he has been unlawfully detained and recommends he be immediately released and compensated. Britain calls the discovery “frankly ridiculous.”

September 2018: Ecuador’s president says his country and Britain are working on a legal solution to allow Assange to leave the embassy.

– October 2018: Assange is seeking a court order to pressure Ecuador to provide him with basic rights that he said the country accepted when it first granted him asylum.

– November 2018: An investigator discovers a US court file that appears to inadvertently reveal the existence of a sealed criminal case against Assange. There are no confirmed details.

– April 2019: Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno blames WikiLeaks for recent corruption allegations. Ecuador’s government revokes Assange’s asylum status. London police remove Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy and arrest him for breaching bail conditions in 2012, as well as on behalf of US authorities.

– May 2019: Assange is sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012.

– May 2019: The United States government charges Assange with 18 counts for the publication of classified documents by WikiLeaks. Prosecutors say she conspired with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

– November 2019: Swedish prosecutor abandons rape investigation.

– May 2020: Assange’s extradition hearing is delayed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

– June 2020: The United States files a new indictment against Assange that prosecutors say highlights Assange’s efforts to obtain and disclose classified information.

– January 2021: An American judge rules that Assange cannot be extradited to the United States because he is likely to commit suicide if held in harsh prison conditions.

– July 2021: The High Court grants permission to the United States to appeal the lower court ruling blocking Assange’s extradition.

– December 2021: High Court rules that US assurances over Assange’s detention are sufficient to ensure he will be treated humanely.

– March 2022: Britain’s Supreme Court refuses to grant Assange permission to appeal against his extradition.

– June 2022: The British government orders the extradition of Assange to the United States. Assange appeals.

– May 2023: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Assange should be freed and there is “no use” to his ongoing imprisonment.

– June 2023: A High Court judge rules that Assange cannot appeal his extradition.

– February 20, 2024: Assange’s lawyers launch a final legal attempt to stop his extradition to the High Court.

– March 26, 2024: Two London High Court judges give US authorities three more weeks to provide further assurances, including a guarantee that Assange will not receive the death penalty, before deciding whether to grant him a new appeal against his extradition.

– May 20, 2024:The two Supreme Court justices ruled that Assange can file a new appeal based on arguments about whether he will receive protection for his freedom of expression or whether he will be disadvantaged because he is not a US citizen. The hearing date is yet to be determined.

– June 26, 2024: Assange pleads guilty to one count under the Espionage Act of conspiring to illegally obtain and disseminate classified national defense information. The judge of the American Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands sentences him to a sentence already served in the British prison and declares him a “free man.”

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