Jeremy Hammond, who helped feed millions of emails from ‘private CIA’ Stratfor to WikiLeaks, has reportedly been moved to Virginia to testify before a grand jury, which he refuses to do, jeopardizing his early release from prison.
Hammond has been moved to the same Eastern District where whistleblower Chelsea Manning is currently being held for refusing to testify against Julian Assange, the Jeremy Hammond Support Committee revealed on Tuesday in a statement. While neither Hammond nor his supporters are certain of the nature of the summons, he pled guilty to hacking Stratfor in 2013 in order to avoid giving up information on his fellow activists, including those at WikiLeaks, and has no intention of doing so now.
Jeremy pled guilty to put an end to the case against him. He pled guilty because he had no interest in cooperating with the government.
While Hammond received the maximum 10 year sentence in exchange for his non-cooperating guilty plea, he was granted immunity from further prosecution in all other federal courts and was due to be released in December, having received a sentence reduction for participating in the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Residential Drug Abuse Program. Transferring him from Memphis, Tennessee, where he was incarcerated, to Alexandria, Virginia, cuts short his participation in the program and guarantees he will serve at least another year in prison.
And he could be locked up much longer, given his refusal to testify, which will place him in the same legal limbo where Manning is currently entrapped. The former military analyst, imprisoned since May after having her sentence for leaking the classified military documents comprising the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs to WikiLeaks commuted by former President Barack Obama, faces up to 18 months more prison time and nearly half a million dollars in fines for refusing to testify against Assange.
“Like brave grand jury resisters before him, including Chelsea Manning, Jeremy firmly believes that grand juries are repressive tools of the government, used to investigate and intimidate activist communities and are abused by prosecutors to gain access to intelligence to which they are not entitled,” the Support Committee’s statement continues, condemning “a clear pattern of targeting, isolating, and punishing outspoken truth-tellers and activists.”
Hammond, working with the online activist group Anonymous, hacked into Stratfor’s servers in 2011 and funneled over five million emails from the self-styled “private CIA” to WikiLeaks, including thousands which revealed details of the government’s pursuit of Assange and the organization he helped found. Assange is currently imprisoned in the UK and faces potential extradition to the US – specifically, the Eastern District of Virginia, which has never failed to convict a whistleblower. He is charged with multiple violations of the Espionage Act carrying a total of 175 years in prison.
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