- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

Jeremy Hammond, an imprisoned computer hacker and activist, was found in contempt of court Wednesday for refusing to testify in front of a federal grand jury.

Hammond’s supporters said in a statement that he was found in contempt after refusing to answer seven questions in front of a federal grand jury empaneled in Alexandria, Virginia.

The grand jury is the same one that WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning was found in contempt and jailed for defying, the Jeremy Hammond Support Committee said in a statement.

Joshua Stueve, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, confirmed Hammond was found in contempt Wednesday but declined to comment further.

Hammond, 34, was convicted in 2013 in connection with hacking a private intelligence company, Strategic Forecasting, also known as Stratfor, and stealing data later provided to the WikiLeaks website and released online. He was subsequently sentenced to a decade in prison but had been slated to be released as early as later this year.

“Until future hearings we will not know what Jeremy’s sanctions for contempt could be. We also do not know what questions the grand jury is investigating. What we do not know, however, is whether or not the federal prison sentence he was serving for which he was due to be released from just two short months from now, will be suspended as the result of sanctions imposed for being found in civil contempt,” his supporters said in the statement.

“The decision to compel Jeremy to testify despite his outspoken, long-standing anarchist beliefs and support for myriad brave grand jury resistors, only to place him under contempt when he adheres to those same core beliefs should be seen as little more than cruel and punitive,” the statement said.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria have charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a 48-year-old Australia native, with several counts related to different material his website published dating back to 2010, including a trove of classified military and diplomatic documents provided by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. He is currently jailed in London fighting a U.S. extradition request.

Manning, 31, served roughly seven years in prison for convictions related to disclosing documents to WikiLeaks. She finished her sentence in 2017, but she was recently found in contempt for similarly refusing to cooperate with grand jury proceedings and has been jailed ever since.

U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger previously said that Manning’s testimony remains “essential” to an ongoing investigation into charges or targets not listed in the counts already announced against Assange.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide