A former Twitter supervisor accused of spying for Saudi Arabia used to be convicted on Tuesday on six felony counts, together with appearing as an agent for the rustic and seeking to cover a cost from an reputable tied to Saudi’s royal circle of relatives.
Ahmad Abouammo, a twin US-Lebanese citizen who at Twitter helped oversee relationships with reporters and celebrities within the Middle East and North Africa, used to be discovered to blame after a 2-1/2 week trial in San Francisco federal court docket.
Jurors acquitted him on 5 of the 11 counts he confronted.
Federal public defenders representing Abouammo didn’t straight away reply to requests for remark. Twitter
(TWTR) declined to remark.
Prosecutors stated Bader Al-Asaker, an in depth adviser to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, recruited Abouammo to make use of his insider wisdom to get right of entry to Twitter accounts and dig up non-public details about Saudi dissidents.
Those accounts allegedly incorporated @mujtahidd, a pseudonym for a political agitator who received thousands and thousands of Twitter fans within the Arab Spring uprisings by way of accusing the Saudi royal circle of relatives of corruption and different misdeeds.
Prosecutors stated Abouammo won a minimum of $300,000 and a $20,000 luxurious watch from Al-Asaker, and hid the cash by way of depositing it in a relative’s account in Lebanon and having it stressed to his personal account within the United States.
Defense attorneys argued that the paintings Abouammo did at Twitter used to be merely a part of his process.
Abouammo used to be additionally convicted of cord fraud and fair services and products fraud, cash laundering and a conspiracy rate.
“The government demonstrated, and the jury found, that Abouammo violated a sacred trust to keep private personal information from Twitter’s customers and sold private customer information to a foreign government,” US Attorney Stephanie Hinds in San Francisco stated in a observation.
Ali Alzabarah, a former colleague of Abouammo additionally accused of gaining access to Twitter accounts on behalf of Saudi Arabia, left the United States prior to being charged. Al-Asaker, Saudi’s crown prince and Twitter aren’t a number of the defendants.