WHERE: Foley Square, NYC (At Center & Pearl)
WHEN: Thursday, November 29, 1:00pm
INFO: Jeremy Hammond Support | Facebook RSVP
New York, NY - On November 20th, 2012, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to Jeremy Hammond, a 27-year-old Chicago activist accused of hacking into the private intelligence firm Stratfor and releasing information to Wikileaks. On November 22nd, 2012 a communique from hackers highlighted Judge Preska's failure to disclose that her husband, Thomas J Kaveler is an employee of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a current Stratfor client and associate, and moreover was himself a victim of the alleged hack (SOURCE). After independent confirmation of these facts, activists and attorneys have issued a call for Judge Preska to immediately recuse herself for failure to disclose this conflict of interest. At 1pm on Thursday, November 29th in New York's Foley Square (MAP) activists, attorneys, and friends of Jeremy Hammond, including NLG President, Gideon Oliver,Andy Bichlbaum co-creator of the Yes Men, John Knefel cohost of Radio Dispatch, and Chicago activist Natalie Wahlberg will rally and hold a press conference to brief the media on their efforts to see Judge Preska recuse herself and assure Hammond access to a fair trial and due process.
The criminal complaint against Hammond alleges that the hack exposed the private information of 860,000 Stratfor clients, as well as 5 million emails, which WikiLeaks later published under the name "Global Intelligence Files." The complaint goes on to say that hackers used Stratfor-associated credit card data to charge at least $700,000 on behalf of "dozens of charities and revolutionary organizations." Some of this data released belongs specifically to Judge Preska’s husband. Judge Preska has failed to disclose her relationship with Stratfor and in doing so has denied Jeremy Hammond the opportunity for a fair trial. Hammond has pleaded not guilty to all charges alleged in the complaint.
A press release issued by the Anonymous Collective reads, “Judge Loretta Preska’s impartiality is compromised by her husband’s involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evidenced by her statements.” The press release continues, “Without justice being freely, fully and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights nor our property, can be protected.”
Jeremy's friends, family and supporters stand in absolute solidarity with the following concerns expressed in the press release issued by Anonymous, “Judge Preska by proxy is a victim of the very crime she intends to judge Jeremy Hammond for. Judge Preska has failed to disclose the fact that her husband is a client of Stratfor, his email contents were released as part of the Stratfor dump and should recuse herself from Jeremy’s case or be in violation of multiple Sections of Title 28 of the United States Code.”
According to Sue Crabtree, a member of the Jeremy Hammond Solidarity Network who attended the bail hearing last week, Judge Preska ordered the continued incarceration of Hammond on the basis that he is a danger to the community and likely to flee the country if released from holding. Crabtree notes that Hammond, "does not now, nor has he ever, had a passport and has also since been added to the Domestic Terrorist Watch List."
According to Judge Preska, Hammond was denied bail due to the possibility of a 37 years-to-life sentence, combined with his "lack of regard for legal authority make him a flight risk.” She also said Hammond's peerless computer savvy puts him in a different class compared to defendants who make bail while facing other computer crimes. According to Crabtree, Judge Preska said Hammond’s alleged crimes “make him more dangerous to the community than an online sexual predator because he is able to hide his identity.” Judge Preska closed Tuesday's bail hearing with a reiteration that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year’s Stratfor hack.
The Jeremy Hammond Solidarity Network, as well as friends, family and supporters of Jeremy have issued a call to demand that Judge Preska explain her personal involvement with Statfor, to demand that Judge Preska immediately recuse herself from Jeremy Hammond's case, to demand a judicial investigation into Judge Preska’s ethics violation, and to demand all charges against Hammond be dropped.
Hammond is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. He is not expected to take the stand until next year, but so far has been imprisoned for eight months without trial.