By Carla Marinucci
San Francisco Chronicle
Chronicle Political Writer
June 8, 2010
In a mysterious case of cyber-espionage, a leading California political
consulting firm has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to
investigate what it says appears to be computer hacking involving a
high-profile client, an ousted Middle Eastern sheikh, which the firm
says could compromise "sensitive information relating to U.S. and
Iranian security issues."
Jason Kinney, who heads California Strategies, made the request to
Holder and the U.S. attorney's office last week after it appeared
hackers had accessed the Sacramento consulting firm's computer files
relating to their client, Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi.
Kinney and two other leading Democratic strategists, former White House
spokesman Chris Lehane and Peter Ragone, the former spokesman for San
Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, represent the royal client.
The sheikh - the legally recognized deputy ruler and crown prince of Ras
al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab
Emirates - was deposed from power in 2003 by more conservative factions,
including his brother, after being criticized as too friendly to the
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