Former hacktivist Jeremy Hammond, a unique source of WikiLeaks, who admitted having revealed stolen private intelligence files, was despised on Thursday after allegedly refusing to appear before a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia testify.
It is not immediately clear what consequences Hammond will face or what questions have been asked of him today.
"Today, Jeremy Hammond was scorned in federal court in eastern Virginia for refusing to answer questions put to him by a large jury," his support committee said. "This grand jury is the same grand jury that Chelsea Manning currently despises because she has bravely refused to answer her questions."
Hammond, 34, pleaded guilty in 2013 for hacking Texas-based intelligence company Stratfor. Later, WikiLeaks released more than 5 million emails stolen from the company in a publication titled " The Global Intelligence Files ". He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
After months of participating in an intensive drug abuse program, Hammond is due to be released in December this year. His followers believe that the order to appear before the grand jury interrupted this program and ruined his chances of being released early.
Leakage of FBI files received from Gizmodo shows that WikiLeaks first contacted Hammond at the end of December 2012 to receive the stolen Stratfor documents after the public became aware of the breach. As Gizmodo previously reported the documents show that WikiLeaks provided Hammond with a custom tool to help the hacker scan the millions of e-mails.
The files show that Hammond, an anarchist, is online The activities were constantly monitored by at least one FBI informant and were in contact with a WikiLeaks employee after the Stratfor hack. The conversation was encrypted and not directly followed by the FBI.
Hammond was not the first hacker to infiltrate Stratfor. According to a leaked forensic report, the company at that time had extremely poor security . FBI records indicate that Hammond has been given access to the company's servers by another hacker and that an FBI informant has introduced the couple . An internal Stratfor memo estimated the cost of the infringement at $ 3.78 million.
Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy group, is currently fighting extradition from England. He faces a series of charges in the US, including several under the Espionage Act .
Hammond's proponents say there is nothing the legal system could do to enforce its testimony.
"Jeremy made it clear from the beginning that he did not intend to cooperate with the government, and that has not changed and will never change," they said. "Any attempt to force him to testify through prolonged detention merely penalizes Jeremy for his political beliefs." Contempt for refusal to testify .