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Thursday, June 7, 2012

“G20 Geek” Ruled Innocent

A security expert, who was arrested under the suspicion of plotting to bomb the 2010 summit of world leaders in downtown Toronto, was finally released from jail after two years behind bars.

Byron Sonne was known worldwide as “G20 geek”. The 2-year-old incident dramatically changed his life – first of all, he lost his marriage with his wife Kristen Peterson, who ended their 8-year marriage while Sonne was locked up. He was actually a famous hacker in the cyber security industry, but was arrested 2 years ago as the first high-profile detention of the chaotic G20 weekend.

According to the press reports, Byron Sonne was accused of mischief, weapons possession and intimidating justice officials. However, by the time the case reached trial, most of the charges have already been dropped: for instance, the weapon turned into potato cannon, and all other charges have been chucked out as well.

The so-called “G20 geek” was left with 4 counts of possessing explosive materials and one count of “counseling the commission of mischief”. The prosecution claimed that the defender had all the necessary ingredients to build a homemade bomb. It also accused him of encouraging people, via social media, to disrupt the G20.

It turned out that Sonne hadn’t assembled any explosive devices. Nor the police found any bomb-making plans or detonators. However, the prosecution insisted that since he had all the ingredients to make a bomb and was noticed criticizing the G20 on his Twitter and Flickr accounts, Sonne must have been planning to kill people, no doubts here. In response, the guy admitted he has materials that could be used to build a bomb, but claimed he didn’t combine them and wasn’t planning to.

The court ruled that the Crown couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defender was guilty of any offense. Actually, out of all people arrested during the G20, Byron Sonne was the least likely to happen a terrorist. Indeed, it turned out that the potentially explosive chemicals that he had were for household use, while others originated from his model rocketry hobby.

Byron Sonne explained that he had published pictures of the $9,400,000 security fence, surveillance cameras and photos of police officers, and some of his headlines wouldn’t have endeared him to the authorities. However, that wasn’t a reason to arrest him for being a terrorist.

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