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Sarah Palin to testify in email hack trial

After Yahoo! breach 'paralyzed' Veep campaign

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Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will testify in person against the college student accused of breaching her Yahoo mail account and leaking some of its contents online, according to published reports.

Palin’s lawyer, Thomas V Van Flein, told multiple news outlets that the former Alaska governor will be in Knoxville to testify at the trial, set to start April 20. Palin, who insisted the Russians were "next-door neighbors" of her state, will appear at the request of federal prosecutors trying the case, he said.

Palin described the attack as the "most disruptive and discouraging" event in her bid to become US vice president. That's saying quite a bit, considering the campaign was marked by vicious backbiting between her and aides to US Senator John McCain and was skewered following a slew of botched prime-time news interviews in which Palin betrayed a stunning lack of knowledge on foreign affairs and important domestic issues.

Palin also said the interception of personal and official phone numbers "created paralysis" by severing easy communication with her "Alaska staff". The admission supports claims she may have skirted state laws requiring official business to be carried out using email accounts maintained by the government.

Touching off the entire incident, prosecutors in Tennessee allege, is one David Kernell, the son of a Democratic representative in that state. They say the college student is the individual who broke into Palin's account by using her publicly available biographical information, accessed messages and pictures and then left a detailed account online. His final undoing may have been the sloppy use of a web anonymizing proxy service, which investigators queried as they closed in on their suspect.

Kernell has pleaded not guilty in the case.

He stands accused of violating three felonies. His attorneys have challenged the privacy of Palin's emails and argued that his PC was infected with malware.

Palin's husband Todd has also been asked to testify. ®

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