Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin, who had been extradited to the United States from the Czech Republic in spring 2018, has been released from prison, as reported by iRozhlas.cz and Czech Radio. He left Oakdale prison in Louisiana in late February this year, cutting his seven-year and four-month sentence short by nearly a year. This sentence included time served in custody since his arrest in October 2016. Nikulin’s current whereabouts remain unknown, with neither federal court officials nor prison authorities having information about his post-release plans.
Nikulin was convicted in a U.S. court for hacking into over 117 million internet accounts. Federal judge William Alsup’s spokesperson and Scott Taylor from the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed his release. His U.S. attorney, Adam Gasner, explained that part of his sentence was reduced for good behavior, a common procedure for prisoners. However, there is uncertainty regarding Nikulin’s next steps. According to court documents, it’s likely he will be deported upon release and will not remain in the United States under supervision.
The story of Nikulin’s extradition has drawn significant attention in the Czech Republic. Both the U.S. and Russia requested his extradition, leading to international and domestic political tensions. Despite ongoing appeals and a possible asylum claim, then-Justice Minister Robert Pelikán approved Nikulin’s extradition in March 2018. Eventually, the Constitutional Court sided with Nikulin, finding that the minister had violated his rights, and Nikulin received compensation. However, a later ruling denied him further compensation for his early extradition to the U.S.