LONDON – 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 Friday that he has been unlawfully detained by Swedish and British authorities. 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Aug. 21: Arrest warrant is withdrawn.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.
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 cancelled an appointment to interview him at the embassy.
Aug. 13: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some of the sex 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. He said U.K. has a legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden.
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 UN 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."