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Former Twitter worker is convicted in Saudi spy case – Occasions of India

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SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK: A former Twitter Inc supervisor accused of spying for Saudi Arabia was convicted on Tuesday on six prison counts, together with appearing as an agent for the nation and making an attempt to disguise a cost from an official tied to Saudi’s royal household. Ahmad Abouammo, a twin US-Lebanese citizen who at Twitter helped oversee relationships with journalists and celebrities within the Center East and North Africa, was discovered responsible after a 2-1/2 week trial in San Francisco federal court docket. Jurors acquitted him on 5 of the 11 counts he confronted. Federal public defenders representing Abouammo didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. Twitter declined to remark. Prosecutors mentioned Bader Al-Asaker, a detailed adviser to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, recruited Abouammo to make use of his insider information to entry Twitter accounts and dig up private details about Saudi dissidents. These accounts allegedly included @mujtahidd, a pseudonym for a political agitator who gained tens of millions of Twitter followers within the Arab Spring uprisings by accusing the Saudi royal household of corruption and different misdeeds. Prosecutors mentioned Abouammo obtained a minimum of $300,000 and a $20,000 luxurious watch from Al-Asaker, and hid the cash by depositing it in a relative’s account in Lebanon and having it wired to his personal account in the USA. Protection attorneys argued that the work Abouammo did at Twitter was merely a part of his job. Abouammo was additionally convicted of wire fraud and sincere providers fraud, cash laundering and a conspiracy cost. “The federal government demonstrated, and the jury discovered, that Abouammo violated a sacred belief to maintain personal private data from Twitter’s clients and offered personal buyer data to a international authorities,” US lawyer Stephanie Hinds in San Francisco mentioned in an announcement. Ali Alzabarah, a former colleague of Abouammo additionally accused of accessing Twitter accounts on behalf of Saudi Arabia, left the USA earlier than being charged. Al-Asaker, Saudi’s crown prince and Twitter are usually not among the many defendants.

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