Prosecutor Gives Emotional Defense In Hacker Case
BOSTON — A top federal prosecutor who has been sharply criticized following the suicide of Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz appeared to fight back tears as she defended her office’s handling of a hacking case against him.
Related Coverage: Aaron Swartz
- Investigative Report: Ortiz Critics Say Swartz Tragedy Is Evidence Of Troublesome Pattern
- 3/13/13 At MIT Memorial For Aaron Swartz, Criticism And Introspection
- 3/7/13: Aaron Swartz’s Father On MIT’s Handling Of Case: ‘Something I’ll Never Recover From’
- 2/5/13: Swartz Remembered In D.C.
- 1/16/13: Ortiz Defends Charges Against Swartz
- 1/16/13: Retired Federal Judge Joins Criticism Over Handling Of Swartz Case
- 1/15/13: Swartz Father Blames ‘Government’
- 1/15/13: Prosecution’s Case Against Swartz Draws Scrutiny
- 1/14/13: MIT To Analyze Its Role In Swartz Case
- 1/13/13: Reddit Co-Founder Dies Before Trial
- 2011: Cambridge Man Charged With Stealing Documents From MIT
- Op-Ed: We Need A Better Sense Of Justice, And Shame
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said Swartz’s family has suffered a “horrible tragedy” and said she was personally “terribly upset about what happened here.”
But she said she believes the case was handled fairly.
“When anything this tragic occurs, you always have to pause and think and review. And we do that,” Ortiz said Thursday at an unrelated news conference. “We always strive to do our best. We strive to be fair. We strive to be just.”
Ortiz has been blasted online by Swartz’s supporters, who believe her office was overly aggressive in charging Swartz with 13 felonies for hacking into MIT’s computer network to download nearly 5 million academic articles from an online clearinghouse for scholarly journals.
Swartz was found dead in his New York apartment Jan. 11.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
Listen to WBUR Reporter David Boeri’s report on Ortiz’s statement: