Bail hearing scheduled for Canadian man accused in Yahoo email hack
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HAMILTON — A Canadian man of Kazakh origins arrested in a massive hack of Yahoo emails appeared briefly via video in a Hamilton court Friday, where a date was set for his bail hearing.
Twenty-two-year-old Karim Baratov is set to return to court for the hearing on April 5.
Baratov did not say anything during his court appearance, looking straight ahead with his hands in front of him.
He was arrested under the extradition act on Tuesday in the Ontario community of Ancaster.
U.S. authorities said on Wednesday that Baratov and three others — including two men alleged to be officers of the Russian Federal Security Service — were indicted for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.
One of Baratov's lawyers said outside court that the allegations against his client are unfounded.
Amedeo Dicarlo, who spoke to reporters before Baratov's hearing, said he will fight a push to have his client extradited to the U.S.
"Our essential goal is to get Mr. Baratov out," Dicarlo said. "This is an attack by the U.S. government, it's a challenge by the U.S. government. We are fighting that challenge."
Dicarlo said his client is "healthy" and "confident" but declined to answer questions about Baratov's personal life or profession, describing him only as an "entrepreneur."
"I cannot describe what Karim does nor who he is until the time is right," he said. Baratov's family is also asking for privacy, he said.
After court, Baratov's second lawyer, Deepak Paradkar said a date for an extradition hearing has not been set.
He wouldn't comment on the allegations against his client, nor would he comment on speculation that his client may be a flight risk.
"There’s an indictment that’s filed in the United States," he said. "It’s pretty extensive. Twenty to 30 charges."
Paradkar also noted that Baratov is no longer a Kazakh citizen.
U.S. officials have said Baratov also went by the names Kay, Karim Taloverov and Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov.
The three other suspects in the case are Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, and Alexsey Alexseyevich (Magg) Belan, 29, all Russian nationals and residents. It's not clear whether they will ever step foot in an American courtroom since there's no extradition treaty with Russia
Dokuchaev and Sushchin are said to be Russian intelligence agents who allegedly masterminded and directed the hacking, the U.S. Justice Department has said.
The pair allegedly tasked Baratov with hacking more than 80 accounts in exchange for commissions, according to U.S. authorities, who submitted a provisional arrest warrant for Baratov to Canadian authorities March 7.
Yahoo, which is based in California, sent an email in September alerting users that their account information — including email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, passwords and security questions — had been stolen in a cyberattack two years earlier.
The company said at least 500 million user accounts were affected.