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   After the raid, Trax's psychiatric condition remained unstable. He

   changed doctors and began receiving home visits from a hospital

   psychiatric service. Eventually, a doctor prescribed medication.

  

   The three hackers continued to talk on the phone, and see each other

   occasionally. One or the other might drop out of communication for a

   period, but would soon return to the fold. They helped each other and

   they maintained their deep anti-establishment sentiments.

  

   After the charges arrived in the mail, they called each other to

   compare notes. Mendax thought out loud on the phone to Prime Suspect,

   `I guess I should get a lawyer'.

  

   `Yeah. I got one. He's lining up a barrister too.'

  

   `They any good?' Mendax asked.

  

   `Dunno. I guess so. The solicitor works at Legal Aid, an in-house guy.

   I've only met them a few times.'

  

   `Oh,' Mendax paused. `What are their names?'

  

   `John McLoughlin and Boris Kayser. They did Electron's case.'

  

   Trax and Prime Suspect decided to plead guilty. Once they saw the

   overwhelming evidence--data taps, telephone voice taps, data seized

   during the raids, nearly a dozen statements by witnesses from the

   organisations they had hacked, the 300-page Telecom report--they

   figured they would be better off pleading. The legal brief ran to more

   than 7000 pages. At least they would get some kudos with the judge for

   cooperating in the police interviews and pleading early in the

   process, thus saving the court time and money.

  

   Mendax, however, wanted to fight the charges. He knew about Pad and

   Gandalf's case and the message from that seemed to be pretty clear:

   Plead and you go to prison, fight and you might get off free.

  

   The DPP shuffled the charges around so much between mid-1994 and 1995

   that all the original charges against Trax, issued on 20 July 1994,

   were dropped in favour of six new charges filed on Valentines Day,

   1995. At that time, new charges--largely for hacking a Telecom

   computer--were also laid against Mendax and Prime Suspect.

  

   By May 1995, the three hackers faced 63 charges in all: 31 for Mendax,

   26 for Prime Suspect and six for Trax. In addition, NorTel claimed the

   damages attributed to the hacker incident totalled about $160000--and

   the company was seeking compensation from the responsible parties. The

   Australian National University claimed another $4200 in damages.

  

   Most of the charges related to obtaining illegal access to commercial

   or other information, and inserting and deleting data in numerous

   computers. The deleting of data was not malicious--it generally

   related to cleaning up evidence of the hackers' activities. However,

   all three hackers were also charged with some form of `incitement'. By

   writing articles for the IS magazine, the prosecution claimed the

   hackers had been involved in disseminating information which would

   encourage others to hack and phreak.

  

   On 4 May 1995 Mendax sat in the office of his solicitor, Paul