WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Romanian hacker nicknamed “Guccifer” who helped expose the existence of a non-public e mail area Hillary Clinton used when she was U.S. secretary of state was sentenced on Thursday to 52 months in jail by a federal court docket in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Marcel Lazar Lehel is escorted by masked policemen in Bucharest, after being arrested in Arad on January 22, 2014.

Marcel Lazar, 44, who used the alias on-line, had pleaded responsible in Could to costs together with unauthorized entry to a protected laptop and aggravated id theft after being extradited from Romania.

Lazar’s public defender, Shannon Quill, was not instantly accessible for remark.

Lazar has stated in interviews he breached Clinton’s non-public server at her house in Chappaqua, New York, however legislation enforcement and nationwide safety officers say that declare is meritless.

Lazar is believed to have hacked into e mail accounts of about 100 victims between 2012 and 2014.

They embody distinguished political figures similar to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a relative of former President George W. Bush and Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White Home aide and an unofficial adviser to Clinton. Clinton is now the Democratic nominee for president.

Lazar leaked on-line memos Blumenthal despatched Clinton that had been addressed to her non-public e mail account, which was used throughout her time as secretary of state to conduct each private and work enterprise in lieu of a authorities account.

Clinton’s e mail association, which turned the topic of an FBI investigation, has drawn intense scrutiny from Republicans trying to sow doubt about her honesty forward of the Nov. eight presidential election.

An entity calling itself “Guccifer 2.zero” and claiming to be a Romanian hacker emerged in June and commenced taking credit score for information breaches on the Democratic Nationwide Committee and Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee.

U.S. intelligence officers and cyber safety consultants consider Guccifer 2.zero is a entrance for Russian intelligence providers meant to unfold confusion concerning the hacks in opposition to the Democratic Celebration.

(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Modifying by James Dalgleish)