A Spanish court on Friday approved the extradition to the United States of a British man suspected of hacking the Twitter accounts of prominent public figures including President Joe Biden and Barack Obama.
Police arrested Joseph James O’Connor in July 2021 in the southern city of Estepona, which is home to a large number of Britons.
He faces multiple allegations in connection with the July 2020 hack of more than 130 Twitter accounts, including that of then-Democratic presidential candidate Biden.
The accounts of former President Barack Obama, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla boss Elon Musk, who now owns Twitter, were also hit.
US authorities allege that O’Connor hijacked celebrity accounts and then asked his followers to send bitcoins into one account, promising to double their money.
Spain’s National Court said on Friday that she is also suspected of hacking the Snapchat account of an unnamed public figure and then threatening to publish nude photos of her unless she was financially compensated.
It said “necessary conditions” were met for Spain to agree to the US extradition request for the 23-year-old, also known as “Plugwalk Joe”.
Spain’s cabinet must still approve it, although it usually complies with court rulings.
O’Connor can still appeal extradition. He faces charges related to unauthorized computer access, extortion and cyberstalking.
His defense team had argued that he should be tried in Spain, where computer servers were allegedly used in the hacking.
A Florida teen accused of conspiring to attack was sentenced by a US court to three years in juvenile prison in 2021 in a plea agreement.
Graham Evan Clark was just 17 when he was charged and his case was transferred to Florida state court because of his juvenile status.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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