by Jamison Maeda
One U.S. judge described the circumstances of Matt’s case as odd. And a second judge questioned the strength of the case saying “The weight of the evidence is not as firm as I thought.” Though presumably if there were evidence, Matt would have been arrested the day his home was raided.
Matt’s computers had not been analyzed for evidence of pornography nearly a year after being taken from his house, and in fact had never been sent to Tennessee but were actually delivered to the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C. It’s clear that the pornography charge against Matt was a weak cover for the FBI investigation of his connection to Wikileaks and Anonymous.
Panicked, Matt looked into leaving the U.S. and eventually headed to Canada. In 2010, he wanted to apply for a student visa, but to do that he needed to cross back into the U.S. When Matt presented his passport at the border, suddenly a group of men blocked the exits, more men ran out from the back and grabbed him. He was arrested and taken to the Immigration & Customs Enforcement facility and repeatedly interrogated by the FBI. They asked him about his military unit, Russia, Wikileaks and Anonymous. An agent showed him a document that listed the charge of pornography. Matt said ‘I didn’t do that.’ Matt says the man replied, ‘I know.” He says he was drugged and that he was tortured.
Matt was put on house arrest in the tiny apartment he shared with his parents in Canada. He had a GPS monitoring device installed around his ankle. He applied for refugee status in Canada based on his claim of torture by the United States due to his involvement with Anonymous and WikiLeaks. But the pornography charges held that up.
Then in April, the DeHarts were told by their landlord to move to another unit in the same building. Matt’s father notified the GPS monitoring company who notified the Canada Border Services Agency. A representative of the GPS company arrived at the apartment and confirmed that the monitoring equipment was in place. But the next day police arrested Matt for breaching his release terms, which required him to notify the Canada Border Services Agency of a change of address in person.
It seems the FBI believed if they labeled Matt a pedophile that no one would want anything to do with him or his case. And in fact, neither CNN nor Fox News have reported on Matt’s case at any time since 2010. However, Adrian Humphreys of the National Post in Canada published an exhaustive five-part series on Matt’s case. On August 20, Humphreys also attempted to report on Matt’s refugee hearing, but was denied access and banned from publishing any details of the case including Matt’s name.
The refugee hearing wrapped up on August 21st with written arguments still to be submitted by October 3rd. Matt is currently incarcerated in Lindsay, Ontario.