UPDATED: Civil liberties advocates have rallied behind Jeremy Hammond who was denied bail and faces life in prison
UPDATE Dec. 3rd: Jeremy Hammond’s lawyers plan to file a motion this week for Judge Preska’s recusal. Sparrow Media reported that Preska was made aware of the published connection between her husband and Stratfor and that her husband’s Stratfor-related information was published by Wikileaks, but “Preska indicated that this personal connection to the Hammond case ‘would not effect her ability to be impartial’.” A video from last week’s press conference featuring journalists, attorneys and civil liberties advocates is posted below.
Nov. 28th: Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond was told last week by federal judge Loretta Preska that he was being denied bail and could face life in jail for his alleged involvement with the Anonymous/LulzSec hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Stratfor.
Civil liberties advocates have decried the state’s harsh treatment of the activist, who was reportedly held in solitary confinement for five days in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center and has so far been imprisoned for eight months without trial. Now, Hammond’s supporters believe they have an extra and important string to their bow: a release from Anonymous reported that the federal judge who denied Hammond bail is married to a client of Stratfor and was personally affected by the infamous hack.
“Judge Loretta Preska’s impartiality is compromised by her husband’s involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evidenced by her statements … Without justice being freely, fully and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights nor our property, can be protected,” the Anonymous release noted.
The criminal complaint against Hammond alleges that the Statfor hack exposed the private information of 860,000 Stratfor clients, as well as 5 million emails, which WikiLeaks has been publishing in batches. “Some of this data released belongs specifically to Judge Preska’s husband,” stated a release from Sparrow Media, which is helping to organize a press conference in New York Thursday during which activists and attorneys, including National Lawyers Guild New York president Gideon Oliver, will brief the media on their call for Judge Preska to immediately recuse herself for failure to disclose this conflict of interest.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email firstname.lastname@example.org.