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Palin testifies in hacking case

By the CNN Wire Staff
Sarah Palin told jurors that her life and campaign were disrupted when hacked e-mails were published.
Sarah Palin told jurors that her life and campaign were disrupted when hacked e-mails were published.
  • Sarah Palin testified she didn't realize e-mail was hacked until it was reported in media
  • Palin said 2008 campaign was disrupted when hacked e-mails were published
  • David Kernell, 22, charged with identity theft, wire fraud, obstructing FBI investigation

(CNN) -- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin testified that she did not realize anyone had hacked her Yahoo e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign until it was reported in the media, CNN affiliate WATE reported Friday.

The GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee took the stand for about an hour Friday morning in the Knoxville, Tennessee, trial of a man accused of hacking her e-mail, a manager in the court clerk's office said.

The prosecution is presenting its case against David Kernell, 22, who is charged with felony identity theft, wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account without authorization and obstructing an FBI investigation.

Kernell, who was a University of Tennessee student, has pleaded not guilty. He is the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, a Democrat who has served in the Tennessee House for more than 30 years.

Palin told jurors that her life and the campaign were disrupted when the hacked e-mails were published, WATE reported.

It took several days for her to deal with media questions after her personal photographs and contacts were posted on the internet, she testified.

She closed her Yahoo e-mail account and her children gave their cell phones up to Secret Service agents, she said, according to WATE.

Prosecutors say Kernell accessed Palin's e-mail by resetting the password. He then allegedly read the contents and made screenshots of the e-mail directory and other personal information, according to a federal indictment.

"The personal information included, and was not limited to, other e-mail addresses of family members, pictures of family members, at least one cell phone number of a family member, the dates of birth of Governor Palin and another family member, and Governor Palin's address book," the indictment says.

The screenshots were posted on a public website, and Kernell is alleged to also have posted the newly created password on that site, allowing others to access Palin's e-mail account, it says.