Hacker strikes a deal on sentence without trial
Sunday 21 March 1999
Mr Mitnick, aged 35, was due to go on trial on 20 April on a number of charges of computer and telephone fraud. He had been awaiting trial since his arrest early in February 1995, when he was trapped in his endeavours by FBI agents in Raleigh, North Carolina.
As reported in The Independent on Sunday, his trial has been repeatedly delayed. But the latest deal could end the long wait. The terms are understood to include acceptance of a five-year sentence - though his period on remand will count towards that - and staying away from computers for at least three years.
Donald Randolph, his attorney, confirmed that a deal had been struck but said it had still to be reviewed by a district judge. "We are cautiously optimistic that the court will accept the agreement," he said.
Mr Mitnick was caught after an alleged criminal hacking spree. He was accused of stealing the details of 120,000 credit cards from an Internet company and copying $80 million (pounds 47m) worth of software from companies including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, Nokia and Fujitsu. Under US sentencing guidelines, he faced more than 35 years in jail if he had denied the charges and then been found guilty on all of them.
However, only 4 per cent of cases involving federal crimes actually come to trial, and supporters of Mr Mitnick said last week that he had been manipulated as his trial date had approached. Mr Mitnick was caught in 1995 after trying to break into the home computer of Tsutomu Shimomura, a specialist in supercomputers, living in San Diego, California - who, instead, helped the FBI break into Mr Mitnick's lair.
The imprisonment without trial of Mr Mitnick prompted a campaign by many hackers, who set up a web site dedicated to trying to get him freed. Last year, supporters hacked in to a New York Times web page to post pro-Mitnick statements and also criticise the paper's reporter John Markoff, who had chronicled Shimomura's online methods and Mitnick's arrest in the book TakeDown.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 4 Halle Berry takes ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry to court for allegedly trying to make daughter look less African-American
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ferguson decision: Tea Party website mocks Michael Brown's family over T-shirt typo
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Derren Brown on the disappointment of coming out: 'It’s not that people react badly to it – they really don't care'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...