Byron Sonne, the hacker and activist who was arrested during the run-up to Toronto’s G20 summit, has just been found not guilty of scheming to build explosives in order to disrupt the summit, according to reporters tweeting from the courtroom. He has also been cleared of counseling mischief by pointing out, online, that the security fence around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre—which had been erected to defend summit delegates from interlopers—could easily be scaled.
The decision by Ontario Superior Court Justice Nancy Spies comes nearly two years after Sonne was first detained, a few days after Toronto police caught him filming the security fence. The trial might have ended last month, were it not for a dramatic last-second police raid that uncovered what the Crown considered to be damning new evidence.
At the heart of Sonne’s legal troubles was the trove of chemicals and lab equipment police found during a June, 2010 search of the home he shared with his now-ex wife. Prosecutors claimed the substances—which included hexamine fuel tablets and other volatile stuff—were intended for use in explosive devices. Sonne’s defense maintained that all of his unusual possessions were related to his many innocuous hobbies, one of those being model rocketry. Sonne was fighting four counts of explosives-related offenses.