Student Convicted Of Hacking Sarah Palin E-mail Account

A jury in Tennessee has today convicted a former University student of hacking into Sarah Palin's private email account.

David Kernell aged 22 has been found guilty of unauthorised access to a computer as well as obstructing justice and faces up to 20 years in prison.

It was during Palin's 2008 Republican campaign for the US vice presidency that Kernell illegally accessed her email account.

The jury took four days to reach their decision and Mr Davies said that Kernell was, "grateful for the time and consideration the jury gave to his case".

Although Kernell was cleared on the charge of "Wire Fraud", the jury are still unable to reach a verdict on a charge of identity fraud. If Kernell is found guilty of this, he could face an additional trial.

Kernell's lawyer Wade Davies, said that the acts of his client were nothing more than a college prank and should be viewed by the court as such.

Mrs Palin however, posted a statement on her Facebook page about the court case, saying she was "thankful that the jury thoroughly and carefully weighed the evidence and issued a just verdict".

"As Watergate taught us, we rightfully reject illegally breaking into candidates' private communications for political intrigue in an attempt to derail an election," she said.

In a 30-minute testimony last Friday, Palin stated that Kernell, by breaking into her Yahoo e-mail account, had compromised the main way she had communicated with her family during the campaign.

Her daughter Bristol testified earlier this week that she had received harassing calls and text messages after e-mails from the account revealed her mobile phone number.

A sentencing date has not yet been given.

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