The father of detained Swedish programmer Ola Bini, Dag Gustafsson, attends a press conference in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The ace Swedish programmer, pictured on the screen in the background, who was an early, ardent supporter of WikiLeaks was arrested in Ecuador last week in an alleged plot to blackmail the country's president over his abandonment of Julian Assange. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

Assange friend jailed by Ecuador says case will collapse

April 18, 2019 - 10:35 am

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — A jailed Swedish programmer friendly with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he's confident the case against him in Ecuador lacks substance and "will collapse."

Privacy activist Ola Bini also says in a statement provided by his attorney that he's being held under "the best of circumstances" but that prison conditions are "despicable."

Police detained Bini last week — shortly after Assange was arrested in London — as he boarded a plane for Japan.

Ecuador's president, Lenin Moreno, claims Bini hacked cellphones and online accounts belonging to private citizens and Ecuador's government.

A judge ordered Bini held for 90 days while prosecutors prepare a case. Defense attorney Carlos Soria says they have presented no evidence.

Bini said he's being held for ideological reasons — for what amounts to Orwellian "thoughtcrimes."

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