Facade of the National Court, in Madrid, in a file image. Cinco Días
The Spanish court has given the green light for the extradition to the US of Joseph James O'Connor, alias
, a 23-year-old British man arrested in 2021 in Estepona (Málaga) for participating a year earlier in the hacking of 130 Twitter profiles of companies and personalities.
A computer hacking operation whose alleged objective was to defraud followers of the accounts —they were encouraged to enter bitcoins at a virtual address— and which affected, among others, US presidents Joseph Biden and Barack Obama;
businessmen Bill Gates and Elon Musk;
rapper Kanye West;
and companies like Apple and Uber.
A British man arrested in Estepona accused of hacking the Twitter accounts of Biden, Obama and other personalities to defraud
Through an order dated last week, 16 magistrates of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court have rejected the appeal presented by O'Connor's defense against his surrender to the United States, which already approved in February the Second Section of the judicial authority.
According to that resolution, the US authorities attribute at least 14 criminal charges to the British, which in Spain would be equivalent to crimes of discovery and disclosure of secrets, belonging to a criminal organization, extortion, illegal access to computer systems, computer fraud and money laundering.
In addition to the hacking of Twitter profiles, the US sued the twenty-something for
the Snapchat social network account of a public figure whom he tried to extort and harass by threatening to spread nude photos of that user.
He is also related to calls to emergency services to try to mobilize agents with false security threats, such as the alleged attempt to blow up an airport or the communication that an armed individual wanted to kill his wife and children.
The Criminal Chamber has rejected O'Connor's appeal, which stated that he suffered a defenseless situation during his extradition process and requested that a new hearing be held sufficiently in advance for its preparation.
The investigator said that he had not been able to meet with his lawyer.
“Nothing alleged in the appeal supposes, at the discretion of the plenary session, a cause that has prevented the effective development in the present case of the defendant's right to defense and technical assistance.
There is no record that his legal defense was prevented from communicating with him prior to the holding of the hearing that preceded the issuance of the resolution now appealed, nor the intervention reported in it by such legal defense", the magistrates point out, who They add: "There is no cause to deprive the validity of the hearings held,
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