from the probing-and-prodding dept.
An Ecuadorean judge on Thursday ordered that a Swedish citizen and personal friend of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be freed, two months after he was detained for alleged participation in a hacking attempt on the government.
But Ola Bini, a 36-year-old software developer who has lived in Ecuador for five years, remains under investigation in the case and will be barred from leaving the country, according to the court ruling.
Bini was detained in April at the Quito airport before boarding a flight to Japan, hours after Ecuador withdrew asylum for Assange, who had lived at its London embassy for almost seven years while facing spying charges related to WikLeaks' 2010 publication of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.
Ecuador's Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo had accused him of seeking to destabilise the Andean country's government and compromising its national security. Bini has denied those allegations, but has acknowledged being close to Assange.
Previously: Julian Assange Associate Arrested In Ecuador
Assange associate Ola Bini has been arrested in Ecuador for alleged involvement in hacking government computer systems. A large quantity of electronic equipment and credit cards were allegedly found in his suitcase and during a raid of his home.
Julian Assange's arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London was carried out in a specific way to prevent him from pressing a mysterious panic button he said could bring dire consequences for Ecuador, its foreign minister said.
[...] It is not clear exactly what form the "panic button" took: whether it was a physical device or a metaphor for some other easily activated insurance measure. It is also unclear what leverage Assange thought he had over Ecuador.
Assange's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on the nature of the button and whether it existed. According to Valencia, though, it was serious enough for Ecuador to warn British authorities and carry out the raid in such a way that Assange was not able to get back into his room after learning of his imminent arrest.