* Romanian hacker posted artwork by George W. Bush
* No known US extradition request
* Romania is a hotbed of computer hacking
* Guccifer may serve 7 years in prison
By Radu Marinas
BUCHAREST, June 6 A Romanian court sentenced
hacker "Guccifer", who broke into the emails of former U.S.
president George W. Bush's family, entertainment figures and the
head of the Romanian secret service, to four years in jail on
Marcel Lazar Lehel, a cab driver by trade and known by his
aliases "Guccifer" and "Small Fume", was arrested in January in
Bucharest and could spend a total of seven years behind bars as
he also carries a previous three-year suspended sentence.
Guccifer shot to fame in 2013 after he hacked into the Bush
family emails and posted artwork by the former president,
including self-portraits in the bathtub.
The same year, the hacker distributed emotional emails sent
to former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell from European
Parliament member Corina Cretu, a Romanian, prompting Powell to
deny that they had had an affair.
Guccifer also broke into a private Yahoo email account of
Romania's secret service chief George Maior, which his agency
said had been used before for academic correspondence.
"The aggrieved parties Corina Cretu and George Cristian
Maior did not turn into civil claimants ... The defendant is
obliged to pay 11,000 lei ($3,400)in legal fees to the state,"
the Bucharest court said on its website. It did not publish any
details on his actions and said the sentence could be appealed.
An official at the Romanian general prosecutor's office, who
has knowledge of the case but who did not want to be named, told
Reuters the office had no knowledge of any extradition request
for Guccifer from the United States.
No mention of the hacker's activities in the United States
was made in court, the official added.
Guccifer claimed a wide range of victims and provided
documents to support those claims to a U.S. website, The Smoking
He used methods including guessing the answers to security
questions to get access to customer accounts at Facebook,
Comcast Corp, AOL Inc and other companies.
The hacker has claimed his other victims include Tina Brown,
the former editor of The New Yorker magazine; "Downton Abbey"
creator Julian Fellowes; journalist Carl Bernstein and venture
capitalist John Doerr.
($1 = 3.2269 Romanian Leus)
(Editing by Gareth Jones)