Czech top court delays alleged Russian hacker extradition
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic — The Czech Republic's top court said Tuesday it has delayed the extradition of an alleged Russian hacker until it deals with a last-ditch complaint filed by him.
It means that the justice minister can't finalize Yevgeniy Nikulin's extradition until the
Nikulin has exhausted all appeals, but his lawyers presented a final complaint to the court in a bid to postpone his extradition to either the U.S. or Russia. The contents of the complaint weren't made public, but Nikulin's
Czech authorities arrested Nikulin in Prague in
Moscow also wants him extradited on a separate charge of internet theft in 2009.
Both countries submitted their extradition requests on the same date.
Nikulin denies he's a hacker. His
Czech courts ruled that both extradition requests meet the necessary legal conditions, leaving the final decision to Justice Minister Robert Pelikan.
Earlier in March, Pelikan told the lower house of Parliament that Czech pro-Russian President Milos Zeman "repeatedly" asked him to allow Nikulin's extradition to Russia. Zeman has no say in that decision. The presidential office didn't comment.
Pelikan said that among other things, the seriousness of the crime Nikulin was charged with in the U.S. and Russia will play a role in his decision.