A hacker from Mechelen will appear before a Belgian judge on Wednesday, hoping to avoid a 22-year prison sentence in the US if possible (Mechelen)

Malinois Kevin D. American was arrested in Milan after hacking into Orleans’ computer systems. © rr

Mechelen

Kevin D., a Malinois who is in prison in Italy, will appear in a criminal court in Mechelen on Wednesday. If convicted, the 28-year-old man will not be extradited to the United States. Texan authorities want to prosecute him for hacking American Airlines’ computer system.

Stijn van de Sande

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Kevin D. He has already been accused of hacking in the past. The man received a probationary suspension at a court in Mechelen after hacking into the computer systems of cinema Utopolis and telecom operator Mobistar. But he also ventured into aviation systems. For example, he booked several free tickets in business class. This happened with Brussels Airlines, but also with American Airlines.

The Americans take facts that are not part of the Belgian file seriously. American Airlines filed a complaint and a Texas court issued an international arrest warrant. Belgium refused to cooperate with the extradition of Kevin D., but an international message was also sent to the young man. When he wanted to attend a soccer match in Milan, he was thrown out of bed and arrested.

Belgian practice

Since then, D. He remains in San Vittore prison in Milan, where he awaits news. The Supreme Court and the Italian minister have already given the green light to extradition, but lawyers Frédéric Thiebaut and Sven Mertens, along with their Italian counterparts, have temporarily suspended the extradition process until mid-September. Meanwhile, a practice has also been launched in Belgium. That is why D. He now faces a criminal court in Mechelen on Wednesday for computer fraud.

Read more. Hacker Mechelen, who was wanted in the US for computer hacking, was arrested at a hotel in Milan

Advocates hope this will prevent deportations permanently. A person can be convicted only once for the same offence. If the judge in Mechelen imposes a sentence on Kevin D., an additional sentence is no longer possible in the United States. He has spent 22 years in prison in Texas. That’s more than the maximum sentences he faces in Belgium for external hacking and computer fraud of five and two years, respectively.

sadness

Kevin’s parents were able to meet their son for the first time in an Italian prison in June. It eventually became too much for father Alex. He died shortly after of a heart attack. “It’s a tragedy for the whole family,” said defense counsel Frédéric Thibaut. “We hope this nightmare will end soon. The family already has faith in the Belgian judicial process.

Read more. Malinois dies after seeing son in Italian prison: “The whole situation with Kevin, he couldn’t think of anything else”

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