AFP — A former Twitter worker was found guilty on Tuesday of spying for Saudi officials keen to unmask critics on the platform.
Ahmad Abouammo was pronounced guilty on criminal counts including money laundering, fraud, and being an illegal agent of a foreign government, according to a copy of the verdict.
Prosecutors in federal court in San Francisco told jurors that Abouammo sold Twitter user information for cash and an expensive watch some seven years ago.
His defense team contended that he did nothing more than accept gifts from free-spending Saudis for simply doing his client management job.
“The evidence shows that, for a price and thinking no one was watching, the defendant sold his position to an insider of the crown prince,” US prosecutor Colin Sampson said in final remarks to the jury.
Defense attorney Angela Chuang countered that while there certainly appeared to be a conspiracy to get revealing information about Saudi critics from Twitter, prosecutors failed to prove Abouammo was part of it.
Abouammo quit Twitter in 2015 and took a job at e-commerce titan Amazon in Seattle, where he lives, according to court documents.
Jurors deliberated for three days before finding Abouammo guilty on 6 of the 11 charges against him.