Lawyer of accused hacker hits back at Etisalat

Published June 27th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A 21-year old Briton accused of hacking into Etisalat's Internet servers, publicly proclaimed his innocence, according to reports on Monday. 

"I can say with absolute conviction that I have nothing to do with the damage done to the Internet," said the In a press conference at his lawyer's office yesterday," Lee Ashurst was quoted as saying by ITP media. 

"Etisalat can have no evidence against me because I haven't done anything wrong," he added. 

Ashurst was charged by the Dubai police on Saturday under Article 46B of the Etisalat Law, which is concerned with "misuse of the equipment services or facilities provided by Etisalat." 

The maximum penalties applicable under this law are six months in prison or a fine of up to 10,000 Emirati dirhams. 

Ashurst's lawyer, Habib Mulla, said that he will submit a defense for his client only after Etisalat has disclosed the exact nature of the charges. 

In the meantime, he maintains that Ashurst has been made a "scapegoat" by Etisalat, and that he is investigating whether a slander case can be brought against the chief executive of Etisalat, Ali Owais, for naming his client in connection with the hacking incident. 

In an interview that was aired on Emirates 2 FM at 7:30 this morning, but was withdrawn from a scheduled re-run an hour later, Mulla said that the charges against Ashurst are "absolutely groundless" and that he does not believe Etisalat can prove it. 

During the radio interview, Mulla said that he had gone on the record to say that he had filed a complaint at a Dubai police station against the chief executive of Etisalat. 

In a Gulf News report this morning, Mulla said that he was looking for compensation of one million dirhams for defamation of his client who has lost his job, his company flat and his company car. He also said that a separate claim against Ashurst's former employer was being considered because his termination came before any judgement had been rendered in the case -- (Various Sources)

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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