Jeremy Hammond is an alleged member of LulzSec, a hacker group that is part of the hacktivist collective Anonymous. He is accused of hacking the servers of Strategic Forecasting and collecting thousands of emails, credit card numbers and sensitive information about the intelligence firm’s customers. Hammond is currently being held without bail and he is facing 360 months to life in prison if convicted on all the charges filed by the Federal government.
The Chicago resident has already been held for eight months without bail and he will not appear for trial until sometime next year. There is also a serious question about the impartiality of the judge assigned to the case, Judge Loretta Preska.
Preska is well known as the trial judge in the case of Somali pirate Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse and she heard the plea of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first prisoner from Guantanamo tried in US civilian court. The judge’s husband, Thomas J. Kavaler, was a customer of Strategic Forecasters and his company had valuable files stolen.
According to information released by LulzSec, Kavaler may be eligible for payments from a class action lawsuit in the case and that raises serious questions about Preska’s ability to conduct a fair trial.