A Brazilian judge declined to charge American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes Thursday after he helped expose the corruption of an anti-corruption task force in the country.
Brazilian authorities first charged Greenwald in January after the journalist played a role in publishing cellphone messages from the task force. Greenwald was accused of partaking in a “criminal organization” that was responsible for hacking into the cell phones of anti-corruption prosecutors.
Judge Ricardo Augusto Soares Leite ruled that the charges would not go forward “for now,” but only because of an injunction issued that prevented further investigations into the journalist regarding the case. The Brazilian Supreme Court found that The Intercept, co-founded by Greenwald, had not crossed any legal boundaries with its reporting.
Greenwald’s legal issues stemmed from The Intercept’s reporting on Operation Car Wash, an anti-corruption investigation. Multiple high-profile politicians and companies were caught up and charged amid the investigation.
The cellphone messages from the task force were given to Greenwald by an anonymous source, he said. (RELATED: Brazil Charges American Journalist Glenn Greenwald With Cybercrimes For Publishing Leaked Texts)
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) February 6, 2020
The American journalist called on the court to address the “grave assault on core press freedoms” that the charges had presented. Leite noted that he would have charged Greenwald without the Supreme Court injunction and added he would be open to charging the journalist if it were overturned.
“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 according to the 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.”