Germany: 8 convicted over illegal data center in bunker

Science

Presiding judge G’nther Koehler announces the verdicts in the so-called Cyberbunker trial at the regional court in Trier, Germany, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. This marks the end of a year-long trial against eight defendants who allegedly operated an illegal computer center for criminal business in Traben-Trarbach, Rhineland-Palatinate. (Harald Tittel/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Monday convicted eight people over their role in a data processing center installed at a former military bunker that hosted sites dealing in drugs and other illegal activities.

The data center at the former bunker in Traben-Trarbach, a picturesque town on the Mosel River in western Germany, was raided and shut down in September 2019. It was set up as what investigators described as a “bulletproof hoster,” meant to conceal illicit activities from authorities’ eyes.

The state court in nearby Trier convicted all eight defendants of forming and membership in a criminal organization, the news agency dpa reported. However, they were all acquitted of being accessories to some 250,000 crimes that were allegedly committed via the websites the data center hosted.

The main suspect was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison after a trial that lasted more than a year. The other defendants were handed punishments ranging from four years and three months in prison to a one-year suspended sentence.

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