The alleged Anonymous hacktivist Matt DeHart, is being held in a New York city jail, shortly after he was quietly deported to the United States from Canada, Sunday, after his request for asylum was denied.
DeHart’s father, Paul DeHart, told reporters his son was transferred from a prison in Ontario, Canada to the United States Sunday morning, a few weeks after the family’s request for asylum was denied.
“He assured me that he was safe. He felt confident that God would protect him,” Paul said, speaking on his son for five minutes on Sunday from Niagara Country jail in Lockport, New York.
Former U.S. soldier, DeHart, 30, says he was tortured back in 2010 by United States border agents who stopped him in relation to an espionage investigation with online hacking groups Wikileaks and Anonymous, which he chose to not divulge in.
DeHart has currently been charged with producing and transporting child pornography, an accusation he strongly denies.
DeHart’s supporters claim he is being falsely accused of child pornography charges, and that this is a classic case of the United States government pinning whistle-blowers and journalists with false charges. Federal authorities were granted access to seize DeHart’s electronics as well.
“It is obvious that the flimsy child pornography charges are a pretext to punish DeHart and force him to return to the U.S.,” Jesselyn Radack, a prominent whistle-blower attorney, said in a statement.
“The Obama administration has aggressively used the Espionage Act as its weapon of choice to punish national security whistleblowers, in any case that even remotely involved disclosure of allegedly-classified information,” Radack continued.
DeHart’s family sought asylum in Canada back in 2013 on the basis of the torture claim, however, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee board turned down the family’s request on the February 5th, stating DeHart could fairly face trial in the U.S.
“We are very happy to have the light of day shine on the process, because we have always maintained Matt’s innocence. We think in that type of scrutiny that the holes in the government’s case will come to light,” Paul DeHart said regarding the pending lawsuit.
New York-based lawyer, Tor Ekeland, who is acting as DeHart’s counsel, told reporters that DeHart appeared in front of a judge at a federal district court Monday afternoon in Buffalo, New York. The judge ordered DeHart be transferred to a cell in Tennessee, where the case against DeHart will be heard.