The jury was not able to reach a verdict on eight counts of theft and transmission of the agency’s documents. However, it did proclaim Schulte guilty on two counts of contempt of court, as well as making false statements when questioned by the FBI.
A judge on Monday declared a mistrial in the case against an ex-CIA employee (Joshua Schulte) who was charged for stealing classified #hacking tools (‘Vault 7’) from the agency and leaking it to #WikiLeaks.— The Hacker News (@TheHackersNews) March 9, 2020
Read: https://t.co/6crqN3VjhS#cybersecurity#threatintel pic.twitter.com/UGsJ2yTteU
Details about the case and Schulte’s alleged crimesLast month, Schulte’s lawyers requested a mistrial from the court, claiming that prosecutors withheld evidence that could completely exonerate their client. The trial lasted for four weeks. This very request might be the reason why the jury was unable to unanimously agree on the most severe charges, even after an entire week of deliberating. As for Schulte, he worked on creating malware and hacking tools for both the CIA and NSA. These tools were then used for infiltrating adversaries’ computers. However, he was then arrested in August 2017, with the initial charges against him including transportation and possession of child pornography. About a year later, however, the U.S. prosecutors simply changed the charges, accusing him of stealing and delivering more than 8,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks. The known whistleblower website then published the documents under the name ‘Vault 7.’ The documents are still considered the biggest leak of sensitive information in the CIA’s history. They exposed the agency’s secret spying techniques and cyber-weapons as well as the fact that the U.S. government is spying on people’s computers, smartphones, webcams, TVs, video streams, and more. For now, the court has scheduled yet another hearing that will take place later this month, when it will discuss what steps are next. In the meantime, Schulte will go through a separate trial for a child pornography possession case, potentially getting a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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