Romania To Extradite Hacker Guccifer To US


By Ana Maria Luca

A Romanian court ruled that a notorious hacker known as Guccifer will be extradited to serve a sentence in the US after he finishes his jail time in his home country.

Romanian hacker Guccifer – real name Marcel Lazar Lehel – will be extradited to serve a four-year-and-four-month sentence in the US after he finishes his current seven-year jail term in Romania, a court in the Transylvanian town of Alba Iulia ruled on Monday.

Guccifer became notorious after breaking into email accounts including those of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and members of the Bush family.

Lehel, 46, was extradited to the US in March 2016 and pleaded guilty in court in the state of Virginia, where he admitted that he broke into several networks, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account.

He told the court that he found “hundreds of folders at hand” in Clinton’s account.

Despite Lehel’s statement, the FBI later denied that he had been able to get access to confidential information in Clinton’s account.

However, US prosecutors said that between 2012 and 2014, Lehel had broken into over 100 email accounts, including those of US officials, and the court sentenced him to four years and four months for hacking and identity theft.

Previously, Lehel had been sentenced to seven years in prison in Romania for hacking former security and intelligence officials’ emails accounts, as well some belonging to MEPS and local celebrities.

The US sent him back to his home country after the Virginia court’s conviction, and he is currently in prison in Deva, Transylvania.

In August 2011, he made several phone-calls to Fox News TV producers and told them on the record that he doesn’t want to be sent to the United States, and that he will seek to serve both sentences in Romania.

Monday’s ruling can be appealed.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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