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#Encrochat Hacked Users Haven't Had Fair Trials

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In an open letter an international group of lawyers asked the European Commission and European Parliament to halt new prosecutions until more evidence was presented.

The news shows how around a year and a half after French military police pushed malware to thousands of Encrochat devices, defense lawyers say they are still facing issues getting all the details around what exactly happened in the massive hacking operation.

“The manner of the infiltration has been suppressed under the shroud of a claim of national defense secrecy by the French authorities. This has made it impossible for those accused of crimes, to check the accuracy, authenticity, reliability and even the legality of the evidence used against them,” the letter reads. The lawyers add that they believe this is unprecedented in their collective experience, and that it breaches European Court of Human Rights case law.

“An emerging picture of inconsistent, even completely contradicting information has been provided by various law enforcement agencies across Europe, accompanied by an overall refusal by law enforcement agencies to liaise with each other in the ongoing disclosure process in current prosecutions. This raises serious concerns about the integrity and reliability of the evidence on which prosecutions across Europe are based,” the letter adds.

Beyond asking for a freeze on new prosecutions, the lawyers also ask for the requirement for Europol to explain its role in processing and analyzing the Encrochat data, as well as sharing it; demand that the European Parliament create a formal inquiry committee to look into breaches of EU law by the Encrochat investigation; and for lawmakers to adopt safeguards that mean that data cannot be subject to a blanket assertion of national defense secrecy, as the French authorities did here.

The letter is signed by a group of lawyers from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Criminal justice watchdog organization Fair Trials also signed the letter.

Christian Lödden, one of the lawyers, told Motherboard that Fair Trials will send the letter to European Parliament committees and delegates.

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