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Accused Russian Hacker Fires Lawyers, Delays Hearing

A Russian computer whiz suspected of being one of the world's most prolific traffickers in stolen credit cards has fired his lawyers, delaying a scheduled court hearing on his case in Seattle.

Roman Seleznyov, the 30-year-old son of a prominent Russian lawmaker, dismissed his public defenders just minutes before the start of hearings on whether his controversial arrest by U.S. agents in the Maldives last year was legal.

U.S. agents snatched him while he was on a luxurious vacation, whisked him away, and deposited him in a Seattle jail on charges of hacking, identity theft, and wire fraud, in a move that provoked a furious response from the Russian government.

U.S. investigators had waited years to capture the notorious alleged cybercriminal, who stayed out of reach in Russia, which has no extradition treaty with the United States.

But his taste for acquiring expensive foreign real estate and taking exotic vacations gave them a window of opportunity to nab him.

Based on reporting by AP and Bloomberg