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For Hack of Exxon Foes Aviram Azari 80 Month Sentence With Israel Army Time Cited

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 Magistrate 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."

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."

On November 16, 2023, Azari after citing his Israeli Army service and the war there now, was sentenced to 80 months - 48 of them already served. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread:

Israeli counsel who cited Hamas *is* present by telephone. Someone here in the courtroom is breathing heavily into a mic.

Judge: Defendant submitted 2 expert psychological reports. Are you arguing lack of competence? Counsel: No

Judge: I am signing the forfeiture order for $4.8 million. Guideline sentence is 94 to 111 months. Azari's counsel: There is possible exposure to war, and his experience in the Israeli military- Probation did not consider it.

 Azari's counsel: When your Honor ordered him taken to the hospital, they left him 58 hours until he passed out. Judge: I'd like a report in 2 weeks. [But will it be in the docket?]

As Azari's lawyer says MDC jail caused his client to burp every four to six seconds (the sound in mic previously noted), thinking back to SIlk Road's Roger Clark's expose at sentencing of MDC conditions and corruption

 [For all that, Clark got 20 years. And any follow up? None in the public docket] Further note: there was an unrelated Violation of Supervised Release proceeding scheduled here for 11:30. Detainee is on ice. And Assange case in this same courtroom at 2:30 pm...

Now Avuram Azari's Israeli counsel Asch speaking by phone: Israel is at war, in trauma... I have spoken with Mr Azari, he is suffering, his family is here. We are being bombed daily, sirens constantly

Azari: I am sorry and will accept just punishment. I will serve as an example. Dear Americans, about a month ago the state of Israrl suffered the worst offense in our 75 years of independence, by Hamas Victim 1: My losses have been huge. I am thankful I am not like Aviram.

Victim 2: I am a climate scientist. I documented ExxonMobil's disinformation. I was targeted by his spearfishing. It was espionage, it had a chilling effect

Victim 2: We have a right to know who funded Mr Azari. Victim 3: I head the Rockefeller Family Fund. I was targeted. My email was leaked to the WSJ and Washington Free Beacon

 Victim 3: I felt that Big Brother had arrived. I found myself whispering in my own house. My daughter's social media post cheering my work on appeared in a Complaint. Exxon used our hacked email until recently

Judge: The defendant's hacking tainted organizations. But there are mitigating factors: gastro-intestinal and COVID time. He should receive credit for his service in the Israeli army, without regard for the current situation. He wants 60 months. I impose 80 months

Avriram Azari: You don't know everything. There will come a day.

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


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