Arrested Devon cyber-expert Marcus Hutchins ‘had used drugs’


Marcus Hutchins.


Mr Hutchins’ lawyers said he was “exhausted from partying all week and staying up late the night before until the wee hours”

A British cyber-security expert accused of offences in the US is trying to get an interview with the FBI thrown out as evidence.

Marcus Hutchins, 24, from Ilfracombe in Devon said that he had been “intoxicated” by drugs.

But prosecutors have rejected the claim saying he had shown “no signs of intoxication”.

Mr Hutchins has been held in the US since he was arrested by the FBI on 2 August 2017.

He faces 10 charges related to malware, or malicious software, including Kronos which is designed to steal banking credentials.

He was hailed as a hero when he was credited with stopping the WannaCry malware which was threatening the NHS and other organisations in May 2017.

But he was arrested at Los Angeles Airport in August as he travelled home from a conference in the US.

He was first interviewed for nearly two hours by the FBI.

Mr Hutchins’ lawyers said that the evidence should not be used in the case because he was “exhausted from partying all week and staying up late the night before until the wee hours”.

Mr Hutchins had “also used drugs”, according to the court documents.

The lawyers said: “In conducting the custodial interrogation, the government coerced Mr Hutchins, who was sleep-deprived and intoxicated, to talk.”

FBI agents maintained that Mr Hutchins had been “lucid and mentally aware” when he spoke to them, said prosecutors in recently-filed papers.

They said Mr Hutchins had shown “no signs of intoxication” according to FBI agents and had offered “no evidence that he in fact consumed alcohol or drugs”.

Mr Hutchins was originally charged with six offences, but that was increased to 10 in June.

Prosecutors said in the latest papers that the extra charges followed “unsuccessful” discussions with defence lawyers on a “potential resolution short of a trial”.

The case to decide if Mr Hutchins’ evidence should be suppressed will be held at East Wisconsin District Court on a date to be fixed.