Activists demand judge step down in Jeremy Hammond case
December 1, 2012

Supporters of Jeremy Hammond, the Chicago hacktivist denied bail by a federal judge in New York for his role in the hack of Stratfor, a private intelligence firm, are now demanding the judge in the case recuse herself. Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to Hammond in court last week, saying that the alleged anonymous affiliated hacker posed a “substantial danger to the community.” Information revealed since her ruling shows that Preska’s husband, Thomas Kaveler is employed by Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a client of Stratfor, and Kaveler himself was a victim of the hack.

According to a press release from the collective Anonymous, Kaveler’s email address and other data was published by Wikileaks after the Stratfor hack. Preska never disclosed this information and supporters of Hammond say that conflicts with her ability to give him a fair trial. “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 stated.

Truthout reports Gideon Oliver, president of the New York chapter of the National Lawyers Guild told supporters at a rally in New York on Thursday that, “The court regularly releases people accused of crimes more serious than the crimes Jeremy is accused of. Jeremy’s continuing pre-trial imprisonment will severely hamper his attorney’s ability to prepare a defense and defend Jeremy at trial.”

Hammond potentially faces 30 years to life imprisonment if convicted. He has been held for eight months without bail or trial and is not expected to take the stand until next year.

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