LONDON — Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has won his battle against extradition to Sweden, which wanted to question him about a rape allegation.
He has spent nearly five years inside the Embassy of Ecuador in London to avoid being sent to Sweden, which announced Friday that the investigation has been discontinued.
Here are key events in the Assange saga:
Aug. 20: Swedish prosecutor issues arrest warrant for Assange based on one woman’s allegation of rape and another woman’s allegation of molestation.
Aug. 21: Arrest warrant is withdrawn. Prosecutor Eva Finne says there appears to be insufficient evidence for allegation of rape.
Aug. 31: Swedish police question Assange, who denies the allegations.
Sept. 1: Sweden’s director of prosecutions, Marianne Ny, reopens rape investigation.
Sept. 27: Assange leaves Sweden for Britain.
Nov. 18: Stockholm court approves request to detain Assange for questioning.
Nov. 20: Swedish police issue international arrest warrant for Assange.
Dec. 8: Assange surrenders to police in London and is detained pending extradition hearing.
Dec. 14: Assange is granted bail but prosecutors appeal.
Dec. 16: High Court grants bail. Assange is released after supporters pledge 240,000 pounds ($375,000) in cash and sureties.
Feb. 24: District court in Britain rules Assange should be extradited to Sweden.
Nov. 2: High Court rejects Assange’s appeal against extradition.
Dec. 5: Assange granted an appeal to the Supreme Court.
So Julian Assange is in the news again. Could the endgame be finally approaching? I took this photograph of him back in 2012. How time flies, though probably less so if you are relying on the Ecuadorian Embassy for political asylum. It looks like I might be dusting down my oft-neglected long lens again! #assange #julianassange #equadorianembassy #archive #photojournalism #newsphotography #nikon #wickileaks
May 30: Supreme Court rejects Assange’s appeal.
June 12: Assange asks Supreme Court to reopen case.
June 14: Supreme Court refuses to reopen case.
June 19: Assange enters Ecuadorean embassy in central London, seeking asylum. Police set up round-the-clock guard to arrest him if he steps outside.
Aug. 16: Assange is granted political asylum by Ecuador.
June: 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: Assange loses bid to have an arrest warrant issued in Sweden against him canceled. A judge in Stockholm upholds the warrant alleging sexual offences against two women.
September: 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: Assange loses a legal move in a Swedish appeal court aimed at revoking his arrest warrant.
March: Swedish prosecutors ask to question Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy.
June: Assange claims the Swedish prosecutor has canceled an appointment to interview him at the embassy.
Aug. 13: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some allegations against Assange because of the statute of limitations; investigation into a rape allegation remains active.
Aug. 16: British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire says Ecuador’s decision to harbor Assange had prevented the proper course of justice.
Oct. 12: Metropolitan Police end their 24-hour guard outside the Ecuadorean embassy but say they will use overt and covert means to track and arrest Assange if he leaves. It ends a three-year police operation which is estimated to have cost more than 12 million pounds ($17 million).
Feb. 5: 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.”
Jan. 19: Assange retreats from offer to accept extradition to the U.S. if Chelsea Manning was granted clemency. His lawyers say Assange was really asking for a pardon for Manning.
April 6: Ecuador’s president-elect, Lenin Moreno, warns Assange that as a condition of asylum granted in 2012, he is not allowed to meddle in politics. The rebuke followed Assange’s Twitter blast at the losing candidate.
May 19: Prosecutor Marianne Ny announces that investigation has been suspended and the European arrest warrant has been withdrawn because she sees no realistic possibility of bringing Assange to Sweden.
British police say he is still wanted for jumping bail in 2012.