Swatting case against Ottawa teen continues in court
Published Tuesday, October 25, 2016 5:30PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, October 25, 2016 6:33PM EDT
An Ottawa teenager is back in court in a case with international implications. The 18-year-old has been charged in connection with a series of swattings, or fake emergency calls, at schools across North America. This has been a complicated case that has been before the courts for two and a half years now and that has become a factor for the defence in itself.
It's like a scene out of CSI Cyber. But unlike the Hollywood drama, these are real life victims caught in real life events.
“All you need to know is that I get my money or I blow it all up and take everybody with me,” a man says in one 911 call entered in as evidence in the case against this teen.
In a series of recordings played earlier in court, the caller makes threats about killing hostages or blowing up schools in cities across Canada and the United States between March 30 and April 30 of 2014.
The Crown contends all the calls emanated from the computer of a then 17-year-old home-schooled teen.
There is certainly no argument from the Defence or the Crown that these events took place but the Defence contends that someone else made the calls; that someone else committed these swattings and planted the evidence on this young man’s computer to frame him.
“The connection between my client and someone in the Anonymous organization or someone of that capability,” Defence lawyer Joshua Clarke said outside of court today, “they took an interest in my client, set him up and planted something on his computer.”
The Crown, in its written submission, calls that “fanciful and unsupported” and says the endless material on the teen’s computer was there because he committed these crimes.
“He had the opportunity, he had the time, and he had the skill,” Crown lawyer Kerry McVey explained in her submission.
The teen is facing 34 charges of “swatting” related offences. He was arrested in May of 2014 and has pleaded not guilty. After approximately 33 days in court, one thing is clear. This young man knows his way around a computer.
During the course of the trial, court heard about Remote Access Trojans or RATs, about Wiresharks and Clownfish for Skype. So complicated is this case, it is still ongoing 2 and a half years after the teen's arrest, which has become an issue for the teen’s lawyer who may pursue again a stay of proceedings.
“The Supreme Court came up with decision in July, R v. Jordan,” Clarke explained, “saying that at the upper end, 18 months is an acceptable delay for a trial like this case.”
The case is back in court next Thursday to give the lawyers an opportunity to submit their arguments with respect to the Jordan case.