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Russians accused of Hacking U.S. Technology Firms will be diverted



In the fight against the extradition of Mr. Nikulin to the United States, his lawyer had argued that the case was politically motivated against him. The Russian government separately argued that it had jurisdiction in the case after a Moscow court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Nikulin in November 2016 stealing $ 3,450 from a website called WebMoney.

More generally, the Kremlin claims that the US has unfairly targeted Russians around the world for political purposes. The Russian Ambassador in Prague said the case against Mr. Nikulin was an attempt "to extend the jurisdiction of US law to the territory of third countries".

This year, Spain has handed over two Russians suspected of hacking to the United States. Another Russian, Aleksandr V. Vinnik, is being held in Greece awaiting extradition requests from Washington and Moscow

. Nikulin's extradition was ordered by the Czech Ministry of Justice on Thursday.

The indictment was revealed after his arrest in an indictment. He is accused of hacking into LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring's computer networks; damaged computers used by LinkedIn and Formspring employees; and use their credentials for further intrusions.

The charges include three counts of computer intrusion, two counts of damage to a protected computer, two cases of serious identity theft, a count of trafficking and a count of conspiracy. If convicted, Mr. Nikulin could be sentenced to over 30 years in prison and a fine of over $ 1 million

. Nikulin's arrest and the court records related to the case provided an early glimpse into the shadow world of Russian hacking. The American authorities say Russian hackers can act with impunity unless they choose targets in their own country.

The competing extradition claims of the US and Russia caused a schism in the Czech government. President Milos Zeman, who candidly wooed President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, expressed the case of the Kremlin. Andrej Babis, the incumbent Prime Minister, whose affinities relate more to the West and NATO, said publicly that Mr. Nikulin should be sent to the United States.

During a visit to Prague this week, Paul D. Ryan, the House. The spokesperson said: "We have every reason to believe and expect that Mr. Nikulin will be extradited to America. "

"The United States has the case that they extradite him, whether the seriousness of the crime is clearly on the side of the US, or the date of the request for extradition," Ryan told reporters on Tuesday.

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