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Love Bug suspect off the hook - again

Onel de Guzman, author of the Love Bug virus, has been cleared of all criminal charges for the second time.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ), through a resolution signed by prosecutor Archimedes Manabat, recently ordered the dismissal of the motion for reconsideration filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), said Elfren Meneses, chief of the Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division at the NBI.

The NBI filed the motion in June 2001, almost a year after De Guzman's case was first dropped by the DoJ, despite what the NBI said was strong evidence against the suspect.

"This would mean that De Guzman is off the hook once again," Meneses said in an interview. "There's not much that we can do about the case. At least the NBI has done its best."

Upon hearing the news, however, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted the NBI through the American Embassy, seeking a copy of the investigative findings on the case, Meneses disclosed. "This is a manifestation of their interest in the case, but the NBI has no knowledge as to what legal actions they intend to take," he said.

De Guzman, whose "I Love You" virus took a heavy toll on computer installations worldwide in early 2000, was charged with violating the Access Device Regulation Act. He was later released due to the lack of evidence and the absence of specific legislation that penalises computer hacking.

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