HomeTechnologyFormer Twitter Employee Convicted of Charges Related to Spying for Saudis

Former Twitter Employee Convicted of Charges Related to Spying for Saudis

SAN FRANCISCO — A former Twitter worker was convicted on Tuesday by a jury in federal court docket of six costs associated to accusations that he spied on the corporate’s customers for Saudi Arabia.

Whereas at Twitter, Ahmad Abouammo, 44, managed media partnerships within the Center East and North Africa. He developed relationships with distinguished people within the area, receiving a whole bunch of hundreds of {dollars} and a luxurious watch from a prime adviser to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. In return, prosecutors mentioned, he shared the non-public consumer info of dissidents with Saudi officers.

The jury convicted Mr. Abouammo of two counts of wire fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of cash laundering, one rely of falsifying data and one rely of performing as an agent of a international authorities with out correctly disclosing that work. It discovered Mr. Abouammo not responsible on 5 counts of wire fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Mr. Abouammo’s trial concluded on Thursday, and the jury of six males and 5 girls took 17 hours to achieve a verdict.

Mr. Abouammo was arrested in 2019. Ali Alzabarah, one other former Twitter worker who was additionally charged within the scheme, fled the nation earlier than he could possibly be arrested. A number of of the costs of which Mr. Abouammo was acquitted have been associated to communications between Mr. Alzabarah and Saudi officers, suggesting that the jury was not satisfied that Mr. Abouammo influenced his co-worker’s actions.

Prosecutors described Mr. Abouammo as a mole who bought his entry to non-public consumer info to Saudi Arabia. Saudi representatives paid Mr. Abouammo to amass and share details about political dissidents and different Twitter customers, prosecutors mentioned.

“Energy. Greed. Lies. You heard this story, informed by the proof, right here on this courtroom,” mentioned Eric Cheng, an assistant U.S. legal professional, throughout closing statements.

Attorneys for Mr. Abouammo described him as merely a Twitter worker who had been doing his job. Prosecutors had not linked Mr. Abouammo’s accessing info and receiving funds with precise sharing of that info, his legal professionals mentioned.

“Even if you happen to assume Mr. Abouammo presumably or most likely did it, it’s essential to vote not responsible,” mentioned Angela Chuang, a federal public defender who represents Mr. Abouammo and a lead legal professional within the case, throughout closing statements.

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