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World Economic Forum hacker released

Computer hackers allegedly stole confidential information stored on the World Economic Forum computer

(Keystone Archive)

A computer hacker, imprisoned in Geneva on suspicion of illegally downloading information from the World Economic Forum (WEF) computer database, has been released on bail.

The release of the 20-year old Swiss man, who has not been named, came after the Genevan Court of Criminal Appeal concluded on Friday there was no evidence to suggest the suspect had sought to destroy data stored on the computer. Nor could it be proved that he had sought material gain from accessing the database.

The man has already been in prison for seven days, and the court refused an application to detain him for a longer period.

The suspect, who is from Bern, was arrested in the Swiss capital last week, on suspicion he belonged to a group of hackers who broke into files stored on the WEF computer during the Davos summit in January.

On Friday morning, around 20 anti-globalisation protestors barricaded themselves into offices of the Green Party in Bern to demand the hacker's freedom. The protestors chose the Green Party because the Genevan judge who ordered the hacker's arrest, Marc Tappolet, is a member of the party.

It was alleged the hackers downloaded confidential information concerning 1,400 forum members, including the former United States president, Bill Clinton, Microsoft boss, Bill Gates, and the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

swissinfo with agencies


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