Palin hacker, 20, could be jailed

The son of a Democratic politician has been indicted over the hacking of US Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s e-mail account.

At a court in Knoxville, Tennessee, David Kernell, 20, pleaded not guilty to gaining unauthorised access to Mrs Palin’s Yahoo account.

Prosecutors say he posted some of the messages and her password online.

Mr. Kernell, an economics student at the University of Tennessee, is the son of state congressman Mike Kernell.

His father denies having anything to do with the hacking incident.

The indictment charged Mr. Kernell with accessing Mrs Palin’s account, [email protected], after correctly answering a series of personal questions.

Mr. Kernell had turned himself in ‘as soon as we found out about the charges,’ according to his lawyer, Wade Davies, who spoke to reporters after the federal court hearing.

Mr. Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted plus a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Mr. Kernell was released without bail, but limits were set on his computer use.