Ex-Twitter Worker In US Jailed For 3 Years For Spying For Saudi Arabia

Ex-Twitter Employee In US Jailed For 3 Years For Spying For Saudi Arabia

Former Twitter employee convicted on Thursday of spying for Saudi officers.

San Francisco:

US justice officers on Thursday stated a former Twitter employee convicted of spying for Saudi officers was sentenced to three.5 years in jail.

Ahmad Abouammo was discovered responsible in August on felony counts together with cash laundering, fraud, and being an unlawful agent of a overseas authorities, based on a duplicate of the decision.

Prosecutors in federal court docket in San Francisco instructed jurors that Abouammo bought Twitter consumer info for money and an costly watch some seven years earlier.

“This case revealed that overseas governments, right here, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will bribe insiders to acquire the consumer info that’s collected and saved by our Silicon Valley social media corporations,” US legal professional Stephanie Hinds stated in an announcement.

“This sentence sends a message to insiders with entry to consumer info to safeguard it, significantly from repressive regimes, or threat important time in jail.”

The protection crew for 45-year-old Abouammo contended in court docket that he did nothing greater than settle for items from free-spending Saudis for merely doing his consumer administration job.

“The proof reveals that, for a value and pondering nobody was watching, the defendant bought his place to an insider of the crown prince,” US prosecutor Colin Sampson stated in last remarks to the jury.

Protection legal professional Angela Chuang countered that whereas there actually gave the impression to be a conspiracy to get revealing details about Saudi critics from Twitter, prosecutors didn’t show Abouammo was a part of it.

Abouammo stop Twitter in 2015 and took a job at e-commerce titan Amazon in Seattle, the place he lives, based on court docket paperwork.

Jurors discovered Abouammo responsible on 6 of the 11 prices in opposition to him.

Chuang conceded to the jury that Abouammo did violate Twitter worker guidelines by not telling the San Francisco-based firm that he had obtained $100,000 in money and a watch valued at greater than $40,000 from somebody near the Saudi crown prince.

Nonetheless, she downplayed the importance of the reward, saying it amounted to “pocket change” in a Saudi tradition recognized for generosity and lavish presents.

US district court docket Choose Edward stated whereas saying the sentence that “exposing dissident info is a critical offense,” and ordered Abouammo to forfeit the worth of “bribes” obtained, based on prosecutors.

Abouammo is to start serving his sentence on the finish of March.

Prosecutors accused Abouammo and fellow Twitter worker Ali Alzabarah of being enlisted by Saudi officers between late 2014 and early the next yr to get non-public info on accounts that had been crucial of the regime.

The then-Twitter staff may glean e mail addresses, cellphone numbers, beginning dates and different non-public information to determine folks behind nameless accounts, prosecutors stated.

Alzabarah, a Saudi nationwide, is being sought on a cost of failing to register in the US as an agent of a overseas authorities as required by United States legislation, based on an FBI assertion.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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