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Fri Apr 19, 2019, 02:52 PM

Ecuador judge orders detention for ex-minister connected to Assange

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS APRIL 18, 2019 / 8:19 PM / UPDATED 19 HOURS AGO

Ecuador judge orders detention for ex-minister connected to Assange

QUITO (Reuters) - A judge in Ecuador has ordered former foreign minister Ricardo Patino be held in pre-trial detention on a so-called instigation charge, the attorney general’s office said on Thursday, but the ex-official’s whereabouts are unknown.

The administration of President Lenin Moreno has said that Patino, who served as foreign minister under the previous government of President Rafael Correa, is connected to WikiLeaks.

Moreno stripped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of his diplomatic asylum last week. Assange was given refuge in the London embassy in 2012 by Correa, but Moreno has accused WikiLeaks and Assange of violating his privacy by publishing private family photographs.

WikiLeaks has denied those allegations, arguing that Moreno was attempting to deflect attention from corruption allegations against him.

Patino, an economist who called on supporters to carry out “combative resistance” against Moreno in October 2018, fled the country by road on Wednesday, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecuador-politics/ecuador-judge-orders-detention-for-ex-minister-connected-to-assange-idUSKCN1RV00Q

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