Glenn Greenwald: Brazilian judge’s decision on cybercrime charges is ‘insufficient’ to guarantee free press

Journalist Glenn Greenwald has said the decision by a Brazilian judge to dismiss cybercrime charges against him is "insufficient to guarantee the rights of a free press."

Greenwald made the comment to The Intercept, the online media outlet he co-founded and whose Brazilian edition recently published a series of excerpts from private conversations on a messaging app involving current Justice Minister Sérgio Moro. Those conversations purportedly show that Moro, then a judge, was improperly coordinating with prosecutors he was overseeing in a vast corruption investigation that led to the imprisonment of numerous business executives and politicians on corruption charges, including leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Last month, prosecutors accused Greenwald of helping a group of six people hack into the phones of hundreds of local authorities, saying his actions amounted to criminal association and illegal interception of communications.

GLENN GREENWALD CHARGED WITH CYBERCRIMES IN BRAZIL, CALLS IT AN ‘ATTEMPT TO ATTACK A FREE PRESS’

At the time, Greenwald bashed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, saying he “does not believe in basic press freedoms."

On Thursday The Intercept reported that Judge Ricardo Augusto Soares Leite ruled that “Greenwald’s prosecution would not go forward” but “if the Supreme Court injunction were to be overturned, he would be open to charging Greenwald” down the road.

“While I welcome the fact that this investigation will not move forward, this decision is insufficient to guarantee the rights of a free press,” Greenwald said in a statement. “The rejection is based on the fact that the Supreme Court already issued an injunction against attempts of official persecution against me. This is not enough. We seek a decisive rejection from the Supreme Court of this abusive prosecution on the grounds that it is a clear and grave assault on core press freedoms. Anything less would leave open the possibility of further erosion of the fundamental freedom of the press against other journalists.”

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While Greenwald is politically liberal, he has criticized the mainstream media on a regular basis and received strong support from national and foreign journalist associations when the charges were first announced.

Greenwald vowed to “continue the fight against this authoritarian escalation before the Supreme Court.”