LAWYERS FOR Marcus Hutchins, the security researcher who stopped the WannaCry global cyber attack but was subsequently arrested by the FBI, claim that investigators coerced him into confessing.
Hailed as a hero for discovering a kill switch for the ransomware that had wreaked havoc over several days in May - particularly to unpatched PCs across the NHS IT estate - Hutchins was arrested in August by the FBI, who claims that he was behind the Kronos banking Trojan.
He was arrested at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport in August and charged with the offences as he tried to return to the UK from the Black Hat and Def Con security conferences.
However, his legal team claim that the authorities have mishandled his case.
They have filed a motion demanding that the FBI hand over withheld evidence, and also claim that Hutchins was intoxicated, sleep deprived and coerced into making a confession.
According to his lawyers, the government hasn't denied that it kept Hutchins under surveillance before making the arrest. However, they claim, they haven't handed over the evidence, as required by law.
"The defense believes the requested discovery will show the government was aware of Mr. Hutchins' activities while he was in Las Vegas, including the fact that he had been up very late the night before his arrest, and the high likelihood that the government knew he was exhausted and intoxicated at the time of his arrest," claimed his lawyers in a motion filed on Friday.
"The defence intends to argue that the government coerced Mr. Hutchins, who was sleep-deprived and intoxicated, to talk.
"As such, his decision to speak with the agents was not knowing, intelligent, and made in full awareness of the nature of the right given up and the consequences of giving up that right, as the law requires."
His legal team also claim that investigators failed to properly read him his 'Miranda' rights, encouraging him to sign them away rather than keeping quiet until a defence lawyer was appointed to represent him. µ
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