Estonia fines man for Web hacking during riots

TALLINN Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:30pm EST

A woman touches a bronze statue of a World War Two Red Army soldier that was relocated from the city centre to a military cemetery in Tallinn April 30, 2007. An Estonian court has fined a man in the only conviction linked to cyber attacks on official Web sites during last year's riots over the relocation of the Soviet-era war memorial, it said on Thursday. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

A woman touches a bronze statue of a World War Two Red Army soldier that was relocated from the city centre to a military cemetery in Tallinn April 30, 2007. An Estonian court has fined a man in the only conviction linked to cyber attacks on official Web sites during last year's riots over the relocation of the Soviet-era war memorial, it said on Thursday.

Credit: Reuters/Ints Kalnins

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TALLINN (Reuters) - An Estonian court has fined a man in the only conviction linked to cyber attacks on official Web sites during last year's riots over the relocation of a Soviet-era war memorial, it said on Thursday.

The court of Harju district, which serves the area including the capital Tallinn, said it had fined the 20-year-old 17,500 kroons ($1,635) for organizing the disruption of the server for the website of the ruling-coalition-leading Reform Party.

"There was only one suspect and he received the court's verdict yesterday, but investigations are continuing (into other hacking offences)," said Gerrit Maesalu, spokesman of the Northern District's prosecutors' office.

The cyber attacks coincided with two nights of riots and looting by mainly ethnic Russian Estonians following the removal of the Soviet war memorial from the centre of Tallinn to a military cemetery.

The move angered many Russian speakers, who saw the monument as a symbol of sacrifices made during World War Two.

The disruption of the Reform Party site was one of many during the disturbances, some of which the Baltic state said originated on servers linked to Russian authorities.

Russia has denied any involvement in the attacks, which comprised repeated high volume requests to Web sites, forcing them to crash or be paralyzed.

Estonia is trying four men for organizing the riots. One man was stabbed to death in the unrest.

(Reporting by David Mardiste; Editing by Michael Winfrey)

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