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For Aviram Azari Computer Hack Sentencing Israel Counsel Asks Virtual Citing Hamas

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

Charged with computer hacking, Aviran Arazi was arrested at New York's JFK Airport on September 29, 2019 at 5:30 am. He was presented and pled not guilty before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox on September 30.

  He had retained paid counsel, who while consenting to Azari's detention pending putting together a bail package to be presented to SDNY District Judge John G. Koeltl asked for medical attention to his right eye. "My client is an Orthodox Jew," he said, requesting Kosher food and the ability to pray particularly during Rosh Hashana. 

  The  indictment, signed by Magistrated Judge Katharine H. Parker on August 28 and wheeled out to District Judge Koeltl who will see Azari on October 14, charges that Azari worked with co-conspirators to hack into accounts including by using so-called phishing emails.

   It referred to "successful intrusions various hackers had accomplished that month [July 2018], including PURTY."

Then the case was pushed back to September 30 and time excluded: "ORDER as to Aviram Azari. The parties are directed to appear for another conference on September 30, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. Because a continuance is needed to assure the effective assistance of counsel, to allow the defendant time to review discovery, and to allow the parties to discuss a disposition short of trial, the Court prospectively excludes the time from today, July 31, 2020, until September 30, 2020, from Speedy Trial Act calculations. The Court finds that the ends of justice served by granting the continuance outweigh the best interests of the defendant and the public in a speedy trial. This Order is entered pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A). Time excluded from 7/31/2020 until 9/30/2020. (Signed by Judge John G. Koeltl on 7/31/2020)

 September 30, 2020 was a full year after he was presented before Judge Fox.

As it turned out, there was a conference held on October 5, 2021 and Inner City Press covered it. There was consecutive interpretation by a Hebrew interpreter and another conference was set for December 7. Defense counsel was given best wishes for his medical procedure.

On April 20, Inner City Press went in person to cover Judge Koeltl's next proceeding in the case - and this time, Azari was there to plead guilty. He was in beige prison garb, with a Hebrew interpreters and four people in the gallery, beyond Inner City Press. He pleaded guilty to Courts 1, 3 and 4 and sentencing was set for July 21 at 11:30 pm.

On October 17, the sentencing was delayed: "as to Aviram Azari  Adjourned to Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 11:00AM (Signed by Judge John G. Koeltl on 10/17/2023)."

For the November 16 sentencing, Azari's Israel-based counsel Joseph Asch wrote in to ask to speak virtually, citing "horrific crimes against humanity that 3000 Hamas terrorists committed on October 7... Under these circumstances, I cannot leave the country."

Inner City Press will continue to follow this case. It is US v. Azari, 19-cr-610 (Koeltl). 


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