Big fail for the cyber prosecutor’s office. At the end of a fantastic hearing, this Thursday, August 31, the judicial court of Paris has just released Hamza Bendelladj, who attended his trial by videoconference from his American prison. The reason? As reported by ZDNET.fr last May, during his first hearing before the French judges, the subpoena of the famous Algerian hacker nicknamed BX1 incorrectly mentioned the JobCrypter ransomware.
A malware yet completely absent from the procedure. This is a very big legal problem, since this citation is the document that summarizes to the defendant the charges that he is accused of. Hamza Bendelladj, sentenced in the United States in 2016 to fifteen years in prison for his involvement in the SpyEye banking Trojan, was accused of hacking and trying to extort companies and banking organizations with the PyLocky ransomware during the summer of 2018.
After a short deliberation, the three judges of the 13th correctional chamber finally pronounced a total relaxation a little after 22 p.m. “The robbery of a Leclerc, it is not that of a Crossroads”, summarize after the hearing the two lawyers of “BX1”, Me Raphaël Chiche and Jérémie Nataf. The prosecutor’s office, which can appeal, had admitted a “material error” on the name of the ransomware in the subpoena. While assuring that this mention was “superfetatory”, a way of minimizing the impact of the blunder.
Hamza Bendelladj having refused to appear on a corrected citation, the court could have continued the trial. But then it would have been necessary to evacuate the offenses for which the use of JobCrypter was specifically cited, which would have turned the procedure into a kind of gruyère. How to judge a defendant for the deletion of data if we have just dropped the prosecution for the actual hacking? Finally, for the lawyers of BX1, there was the risk of a discontinuance of the lawsuits infringing the rights of their client.
Moreover, the error in the quotation had not escaped the defense. But Hamza Bendelladj’s lawyers maliciously made the fun last. The hearing, which started at 15 p.m., had been suspended for the first time, for the time of a private exchange between the black dresses and their client. His lawyers then argued for a request for dismissal, filed two priority questions of constitutionality and finally raised nullities.
So many requests that have made white cabbage. Before the brawl was theatrically carried through BX1. While the president is finally starting to address the substance of the file, Hamza Bendelladj draws her attention to this funny incongruity. Why does she mention in her report the TinyNuke loader or the PyLocky ransomware when the direct quote only speaks of JobCrypter? We know what’s next.