The case brought against two Mexicans accused of "Twitter terrorism" is at the risk of collapsing after their lawyer questioned the expertise of those investigating the charges.

Fidel Ordonez told Metro that none of the experts from the Office of the Attorney General of Veracruz, who reviewed the social media accounts of teacher Gilberto Martinez Vera and journalist Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola, are qualified in cyber security. "Officials have not properly credited the expertise of these computer experts," he said.

The furore began on Aug. 25, when Gilberto Martinez Vera and Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola allegedly posted information saying that shootouts and kidnappings by drug gangs were happening near schools in Veracruz.

"I can confirm this, at the Jorge Arroyo school in the Carranza district, five children have been taken away by an armed group. Total psychosis in the area," Mr Martinez Vera, a 48-year-old teacher, is said to have tweeted.

 

At the same time, Ms Pagola, a former government official, allegedly wrote that a helicopter had opened fire at another school, authorities claim.

Like with The War of The Worlds radio broadcast in 1938, none of those terror attacks turned out to be true. More than 20 car accidents happened amid the mass hysteria, authorities said.

Lawyer Ordonez has also said the authorities have broken international human rights charter by bringing terror changes in the first place.

"I have a very strong feeling that they will be released because this is truly an attack on civil rights," Ordonez told Reuters news agency.

Officials have defended their approach, saying the suspects should be punished for sparking mass chaos in the port city.

"Social networks are an excellent way to communicate, but sadly there are cowardly people who hide behind them only to hurt," Veracruz governor Javier Duarte said in a Twitter post after announcing intentions to pursue terrorism charges against the suspects last month.

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