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Alleged Russian Hacker's Extradition Hearing Postponed By Czech Court

PRAGUE -- A Czech court has postponed an extradition hearing for a Russian man wanted on U.S. charges of hacking and data theft.

Both the United States and Russia are seeking the extradition of Yevgeny Nikulin, who was arrested by Czech authorities in October based on an Interpol warrant requested by the U.S. government.

He is accused of hacking into the servers of the U.S. Internet companies LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring in a case that emerged against the backdrop of U.S. allegations of a Kremlin-directed hacking and influence campaign to meddle in last year’s U.S. presidential election.

The scheduled May 11 extradition hearing at Prague's Pankrac prison, where Nikulin is being held, was postponed until May 30 after the judge found that the suspected hacker had not received Russian translations of documents related to the U.S. extradition attempt, Current Time TV reported.

The setting for the hearing is unusual and typically used in cases in which there are concerns about the suspect’s safety, Prague Municipal Court spokeswoman Market Puci told the network.

Earlier on May 11, Current Time -- a Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA -- published excerpts from a letter purportedly written by Nikulin that it obtained from his lawyer. The letter claims that U.S. investigators pressured Nikulin to say he was involved in hacking the e-mail of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last year.

U.S. intelligence says Kremlin-backed hackers breached Democratic servers last year in an effort to damage Clinton’s campaign with the release of embarrassing internal e-mails.

The Kremlin rejects the charge, including the U.S. intelligence assessment that the alleged hacking was aimed at helping President Donald Trump defeat Clinton.

The FBI and the Department of Justice declined to comment on Nikulin’s letter when contacted by RFE/RL.

With reporting by Current Time TV
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