UPDATE 1-Reuters staffer accused of aiding hackers maintains innocence -lawyer

Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:24pm EDT
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By Dan Levine and Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp suspended with pay a deputy social media editor for Reuters.com who has been indicted on charges he aided members of the Anonymous hacking collective, a company spokesman said on Friday.

Matthew Keys, 26, was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury in Sacramento, Calif., on three criminal counts. The alleged events occurred before he joined Thomson Reuters, the indictment indicated.

New York attorney Tor Ekeland said that he has been hired to represent Keys and that his client "maintains his innocence."

Ekeland said that he is assembling a legal team and that Keys "looks forward to contesting these baseless charges."

On Friday, Keys exchanged tweets with some well-wishers on Twitter, telling one of them: "I'm okay."

Thomson Reuters spokesman David Girardin confirmed Keys's suspension on Friday but declined additional comment. Keys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The indictment accused Keys of giving hackers access to Tribune Co computer systems in December 2010. A story on the Tribune's Los Angeles Times website was soon altered by one of those hackers, the indictment said.   Continued...