WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media outside the High Court in London in this December 5, 2011 file photo.
It's been awhile since WikiLeaks has been splashed across headlines around the world, and it's been such a confusing case for the media to follow, so let's try to break it down:
The site, which became infamous for its leaks of sensitive and confidential documents, reached an explosive high in November 2010 when five major international newspapers began printing confidential diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies around the world. Around that time, a European Arrest Warrant was issued for Assange, who was accused of sex crimes in Sweden.
Assange, who said he felt unfairly targeted because of his international notoriety, launched multiple appeals in the last two years, all which were dismissed. In June, he requested political asylum in Ecuador and took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where his supporters came out to protest his impending extradition. This week, the Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patiño announced the country would grant Assange asylum:
"The Ecuadorian government, after carrying out a fair and objective analysis of the situation presented by Mr. Assange and evaluating his oral and written arguments, has decided that there's cause to presume that he could be the target of political persecution or that such persecution could happen if no timely and necessary measures are taken to prevent it."
But Britain says it will not grant Assange safe passage to leave the country. In a press conference, U.K. Foreign Minister William Hague said that Assange must face the allegations against him in Sweden.
Meanwhile, rumors are building up that the United States is putting pressure on the U.K. to detain Assange because of the information leaks back in 2010 — a claim the State Department denies. A U.S. grand jury is currently investigating Assange and WikiLeaks, but have not issued any charges. However, Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army private, has been charged with leaking the confidential U.S. documents to WikiLeaks, and is currently in jail awaiting trial.