The lawyer to Swedish expert in open software development, Ola Bini, said Friday that the Ecuadorean government still has no evidence to support its claim that Bini has hacked any state computer systems.
Ecuador: Ola Bini’s NGO Office Sacked, Tech Equipment Stolen
For over two months, Ecuador’s administration under President Lenin Moreno held Bini in detention, claiming he tried to “hack” computers belonging to presidential offices, the National Telecommunications Corporation (CNT), Petroecuador and the Secretariat of Intelligence (Senain). He was released June 20 after 71 days of prison with no formal charges ever being brought forth by the government because no evidence against him was found.
Bini has reiterated many times that he is “not a hacker” but a “programmer.”
On Friday, his lawyer, Carlos Soria, questioned state prosecutors’ unlocking Bini’s phone that Minister of Government Maria Paula Romo says holds information that affirm their verbal allegations accessed government websites.
He told reporters that the government’s attempt to add the information withheld in Bini’s phone would be “another case altogether” and that trying to add the information to the case “would be a clear violation of the human and constitutional rights of Ola Bini."
Prosecutor’s say they gained access to the phone’s password by viewing surveillance videos of Bini while in his apartment lobby that captured the accused while he entered the password into his phone.
The open source developer was arrested April 11 as he was trying to take a flight from Ecuador, where he as been living for several years, to Japan. His arrest took place just hours after Julian Assange was removed from Ecuador’s embassy in London after being held there since 2012.
Soria told reporters after the regular Friday hearing in Quito, "the prosecutor's office accessed Ola Bini's phone in front of us. This (phone) has information (that cannot be released) to protect Bini's privacy. The odd thing is that a media outlet has had access to this information,” referring to a recent article written by El Comercio, a well-established national newspaper based in the capital that shows images of information prosecutor’s claim was taken from Bini’s phone. The defense team, however, has not had access to the information.
De forma clara: La filtración de información que no consta en el expediente fiscal por ser de carácter reservada de acuerdo a la Ley, es ilegal, arbitraria y por lo tanto nula.
The leaked information, which does not appear in the case because it is protected in accordance with the law, is illegal, arbitrary and therefore void.
The lawyer said that since the government’s chase began of the free software specialist on April 11, there have been "85 irregularities in this alleged investigation."
In addition, the lawyer said that Bini never worked for the government of Rafael Correa or for any other. "As already explained, Bini came to Ecuador as part of a team of a multinational company that was investing in the country," he said.
In early August the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported: “After spending nearly a week in Ecuador to learn more about the case against Swedish open source software developer Ola Bini, ... EFF has found a clear consensus among the experts: the political consequences of his arrest appear to be outweighing any actual evidence the police have against him,” affirming statements made previously by the Unted Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that have decried Bini's detainment as arbitrary.
The Unted Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights denounced the Swede’s detainment as arbitrary,