REFILE-UPDATE 2-Reuters staffer accused of aiding hackers maintains innocence -lawyer

Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:31pm EDT
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By Dan Levine and Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15 (Reuters) - A editor maintained his innocence after being suspended with pay on Friday following a federal indictment on charges he aided members of the Anonymous hacking collective.

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

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

Ekeland told Reuters he was 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 Corp spokesman David Girardin confirmed Keys' suspension on Friday, but declined additional comment. Keys did not 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...