Ace Swedish coder held by Ecuador was defender of Assange

CARACAS, Venezuela — An ace Swedish programmer has been arrested in Ecuador in an alleged plot to blackmail the country's president over his abandonment of Julian Assange.

Ola Bini was an early, ardent supporter of Wikileaks. Friends say the 36-year-old encryption expert is being unfairly targeted for his activism on behalf of digital privacy.

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Bini was arrested Thursday at the airport in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito as he was preparing to board a flight to Japan. The arrest came just hours after Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Bini's lawyers say they have not been notified whether he's been charged. Authorities say the plot hatched with two unidentified Russian hackers involved threatening to release compromising documents about President Lenin Moreno as he toughened his stance against the Wikileaks founder.

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