A court in the United States on Wednesday ordered former drug company executive Martin Shkreli to be jailed for a Facebook post in which he offered a $5,000 (around Rs 3.2 lakh) reward for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair, Reuters reported.
The jail order comes as Shkreli awaits sentencing for securities fraud, for which he was arrested in December 2015 but has been free since on bail. Shkreli, 34, has been dubbed the “pharma bro” for exploits that include jacking up the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000%.
On Wednesday, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said the Facebook post showed that Shkreli was a danger to the public. She rejected arguments by Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, that the post was protected by free speech, saying one of the accused’s 93,000 Facebook followers could take it seriously. “This is a solicitation of assault in exchange for money,” the judge said.
Matsumoto was visibly angry, according to a CNBC report. Referring to a letter Shkreli wrote to her on Tuesday, in which he said his Facebook post was meant as satire, the judge asked, “What’s funny about that?”
Shkreli will be held in a federal jail – the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn – until his sentencing on the securities fraud charges on January 16, 2018.