Czechs extradite alleged Russian hacker to US


PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic extradited a Russian man to the U.S. to face charges of hacking computers at LinkedIn, Dropbox and other American companies, an official said today.

Yevgeniy Nikulin was flown to the U.S. overnight, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Tereza Schejbalova said.

Nikulin denies he's a hacker. His defense attorney claimed his case is politically motivated in the U.S.

The decision by Justice Minister Robert Pelikan was announced just minutes after the country's Constitutional Court released a statement that it rejected a last-minute appeal from the Nikulin as "groundless."

No further details were immediately available about the decision in a case that pitted the U.S. against Russia.

The Czechs arrested Nikulin in Prague in cooperation with the FBI in October 2016. He is accused by U.S. prosecutors of penetrating computers at Silicon Valley firms in 2012 and they want him extradited to face trial.

Russia also wanted him extradited on a separate charge of internet theft in 2009.

Both countries submitted their extradition requests on the same date.

The Russian authorities previously had said they would do all they could to prevent Nikulin's extradition to the U.S.

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