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Early Release Denied For Leader Of Russian Hackers Group

Vladimir Anikeyev in a Moscow court on January 12

A court in Moscow has refused to grant early release to the leader of a group believed to be behind the hacking of high-profile Internet accounts, including the Twitter account of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The Lefortovo District Court on January 12 rejected a motion for the release on parole for Vladimir Anikeyev, the leader of Shaltai-Boltai -- Russian for Humpty Dumpty. The hearing was held behind closed doors as some materials in the case are classified.

Anikeyev was handed a two-year prison sentence in July after striking a plea bargain and agreeing to cooperate with the authorities.

Two other group members, Aleksander Filinov and Konstantin Teplyakov, were sentenced to three years in prison each in September.

The 2016 arrests of the Shaltai-Boltai suspects became known only after Russian media reported that two officials of the Federal Security Service (FSB) cybercrime unit had been arrested on treason charges.

Russian media reports suggested the officials had connections to the hacker group or had tried to control it.

Based on reporting by Rapsinews and Interfax