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Defence lawyer seeks reopening of Nikulin’s Czech proceedings

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Prague/Moscow, April 2 (CTK) – The Czech defence lawyer of Yevgenyi Nikulin, suspected Russian hacker whom Prague has extradited to the USA, wants to turn to the Constitutional Court and possibly to the European Court of Human Rights to attain the reopening of Nikulin’s Czech proceedings, he has said.

The lawyer, Martin Sadilek, is furthermore discussing his possible further cooperation with Nikulin’s U.S. defence lawyers. It depends on Nikulin’s parents how close cooperation they will wish, he has told Czech Television (CT).

If the Strasbourg-based human rights court ruled in favour of the reopening of the Czech proceedings, they may result in a compensation for Nikulin, CT said.

Nikulin, now 30, was detained in the Czech Republic based on an U.S. warrant on October 5, 2016. He stayed in Czech custody until last Friday, March 30, when he was transferred to the USA, which suspects him of hacking attacks on the LinkedIn and Formspring social networks and the Dropbox file hosting service.

Several days before, a Prague court rejected his complaint against being denied Czech asylum and the Constitutional Court rejected his complaint against the previous court decision that his extradition is admissible.

Apart from Washington, Nikulin’s extradition was also sought by Moscow over a relatively small online theft. Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, who had the final say, said he preferred having Nikulin extradited to the USA whose request he found more substantiated.

Questioned by a San Francisco court on Friday, Nikulin pleaded not guilty.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday saying that Nikulin’s extradition to the USA was a politically-motivated step undermining the constructive foundations of Czech-Russian cooperation.

Voicing indignation at Prague’s decision, the ministry said it will take all necessary measures to secure the rights and defend the interests of Nikulin, a Russian citizen.

When deciding on the case, Czechia did not follow legal norms but only pursued its effort to manifest loyalty as [Washington’s] ally, which it recently promoted onto the absolute priority level, the ministry said.

Legal norms were violated within the extradition of Nikulin to the USA, the ministry wrote, pointing out the sped-up Constitutional Court’s verdict on Nikulin defence’s complaint about [previously confirmed] admissibility of his extradition to the USA, the Russian ministry said.

Moreover, Prague did not pay adequate attention to Russia’s repeated calls on it to consider the fact that in the conditions of anti-Russian hysteria in the USA, a Russian citizen cannot expect an unbiased and just trial in that country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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