The former foreign minister of Ecuador will be placed on Interpols Red Notice list, after fleeing the country for fear of prosecution, as the government of Lenin Moreno continues to crack down on Julian Assanges supporters.
“The attorney generals office began a criminal process against Ricardo Patino for the alleged crime of instigation,” the office said in a statement on Thursday. “[Patino] had given a speech in which he instigated people to take over public institutions and close roads.”
Besides his alleged anti-government activities, Patino is also being sought for his supposed links to Swedish software developer Ola Bini, who was arrested last week on suspicions of hacking for WikiLeaks.
While authorities conduct their investigation, the judge ordered Patino to be held in pre-trial detention. Patino, however, is nowhere to be found, after reportedly fleeing Ecuador to Peru on Wednesday night. Ecuador requested that Interpol issue a Red Notice on the former foreign minister –whod served under president Rafael Correa– which asks foreign countries to locate and provisionally arrest the fugitive, pending extradition.
Known for his criticism of the Moreno government, the 64-year-old was especially vocal over the suspension of Assanges asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which resulted in his immediate arrest by the UK police. “Worldwide shame,” he tweeted, after Assanges brutal arrest last week, accusing Moreno of violating the constitution and international law with his “betrayal” of the whistleblower.
“We are victims of a fierce persecution that is carried out to hide the corruption of Moreno and his close circle,” the renegade politician said in a twitter statement. “We are going to fight, to continue fighting, with our heads held high.”
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