A Timeline

ef.    October 2006: The whistle blowing website WikiLeaks.org, initiated and founded by Julian Assange, is registered.

  • Early 2010: WikiLeaks receives a large portfolio of classified US documents.
  • April 2010: WikiLeaks publishes a classified US military video (“Collateral Murder” video) showing the indiscriminate killing of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad, including two Reuters News staff members.
  • May 2010: US Army Intelligence analyst Bradley Manning (now Chelsea Manning) is arrested in Iraq for publishing WikiLeaks.
  • uly 2010: Publication of the “Afghan War Diary” with 91,000 classified documents giving an unmasked picture of the war.
  • October 2010: “Iraq War Logs” (2004-2009): 391 832 classified military documents are released; according to these, 66 081 of the 109 032 victims were civilians.
  • November 2010: The Swedish court orders Assange’s detention in relation to the investigation of of rape and sexual assault allegations.
  • “Cablegate” (publishing dispatches of US embassies by WikiLeaks) WikiLeaks begins publishings a collection of 251,287 internal reports and assessments from US embassies around the world to the US State Department from December 1966 to February 2010. The material is made available in advance by WikiLeaks to selected international media such as the “New York Times”, the “Guardian”, “Le Monde”, “El Pais” and Der Spiegel. They collaborate to edit and contextualise the material. First and foremost, the depeschen show how the USA sees the world and how they try to influence it.
    US Attorney-General Eric Holder states that the Department of Justice and the Pentagon are conducting an “active ongoing criminal investigation” into whether Assange has violated criminal law, including the Espionage Act.
  • December 2010: British police arrest Assange for a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden. After one week Assange is released on bail.
  • February 2011: Westminster Magistrates Court orders the extradition of Assange to Sweden – without charge. Assange appeals against the decision, because he fears extradition to the US.
  • April 2011: “Gitmo Files” (Guantánamo files)released: 779 documents on Guantánamo prisoners contain shocking information about each of the “unlawful enemy combatants” out of George W. Bush’s “War on Terror”, some of whom are still detained on Cuban ground.
  • May 2011: Reportedly, US government opens a Grand Jury hearing to determine whether WikiLeaks and Assange should be prosecuted for possible crimes, including espionage.
  • September 2011: WikiLeaks publishes the full set of unredacted diplomatic dispatches after a journalist working with WikiLeaks published the key to decrypt a public backup.
  • November 2011: The British High Court rules that Assange should be extradited to Sweden – he appeals again and remains under house arrest.
  • February 2012: 5 million emails of the Texas “security company” Stratfor released. Stratfor is a private secret service that works closely with US and Israeli services. In an email Stratfor Vice President Fred Burton claims: “We have a ‘sealed indictment on Assange”.
  • May 2012: The UK Supreme Court rules that Assange’s extradition to Sweden is lawful and should take place.
  • June 2012: Assange flees to Ecuador’s London Embassy and applies for political asylum. The Westminster Magistrates Court issues an arrest warrant over breach of bail conditions because Assange had moved from house arrest to the Ecuadorian embassy.
  • August 2012: Ecuador grants Assange political asylum.
  • August 2013: Bradley Manning is sentenced to 35 years in prison on charges including espionage.
  • March 2015: A judge at the US District Court says the FBI and the US Department of Justice are still pursuing an “active and ongoing” criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and Assange over the Manning leaks.
  • August 2015: Swedish prosecutors drop their investigation of sexual assault allegations as the time for prosecution expires. Investigations on allegations of rape continue.
  • February 2016: The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention rules Assange’s stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy is tantamount to “arbitrary detention” and he must be compensated for it. The United Kingdom and Sweden reject this ruling.
  • July 2016: WikiLeaks releases 19,000 emails from the US Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisor John Podesta. It is later claimed that they were passed on to WikiLeaks by Russian hackers, although Assange denies this.
  • November 2016: The Swedish prosecutor interrogates Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London over rape allegation.
  • March 2017: US prosecutors are said to have expanded their investigations into WikiLeaks and Assange by the Grand Jury.
  • Under the name “Vault 7” WikiLeaks publishes CIA documents that describe in detail the activities and capabilities of the CIA to conduct electronic surveillance and cyber warfare.
  • April 2017: The then CIA Director Mike Pompeo (now US Secretary of State) calls WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.”
  • US Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that the arrest of Assange is a “priority”, and CNN reports that the authorities have prepared charges on him.
  • May 2017: Chelsea Manning is pardoned by then US President Obama.
  • Swedish prosecutors cease their investigation into rape allegation against Assange and say it can only continue if Assange is present in Sweden. His arrest warrant is cancelled and withdrawn.
  • December 2017: Ecuador grants Assange citizenship.
  • February 2018: Westminster Magistrates Court rejects a motion by Assange’s lawyers to overturn the warrant for his arrest.
  • March 2018: Ecuador cuts off Assange’s Internet and telephone access and allows only visits by his lawyers, on the grounds that he has “interfered with other states”.
  • June 2018: Australian consular officials visit Assange for the first time in the Embassy of Ecuador; the reason for this is not disclosed.
  • July 2018: British Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt says Assange faces “serious charges”. It is later claimed that Hunt referred to the warrant for his arrest over breaching bail.
  • November 2018: It becomes known that the US judiciary has at least secretly prepared an indictment against Assange.
  • March 2019: Chelsea Manning is arrested again for refusing to testify before the Grand Jury in the trial against Julian Assange.
  • April 2019: President Lenín Moreno (Ecuador) declares that Assange will lose his asylum status because he has violated his asylum conditions. Shortly before, WikiLeaks had reported on corruption investigations against Moreno.
  • An independent human rights expert is due to visit Assange on 25 April to assess whether the allegations against him make an investigation necessary.
  • On 11 April, Assange is arrested after almost 7 years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. A request for extradition from the USA has been filed against Assange. The US judiciary accuses him of “conspiracy of invading computers”.
  • May 2019: According to the Spanish newspaper “El Pais”, the Attorney General of Ecuador, at the request of the US judiciary, ordered that the former Assange accommodation be searched and all his documents handed over to the US authorities, including all mobile phones, digital archives, files and storage media (CDs, USB sticks).
  • May 2019: Chelsea Manning is re-arrested on May 16. Manning was detained for contempt of court in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, a spokesperson for her team of lawyers said. The Whistleblower had refused again before, to testify in the case of Julian Assange.