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US justice head thanks Czech minister for Nikulin’s extradition

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Prague, April 10 (CTK) – U.S. Department of Justice head Jeff Sessions called his Czech counterpart, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, on Monday to thank him for deciding to extradite Russian alleged hacker Yevgenyi Nikulin to the USA, the ministry’s spokeswoman Tereza Schejbalova told CTK on Tuesday.

Russsia, too, was pursuing Nikulin’s extradition. Following Pelikan’s decision, however, Nikulin was flown to the USA at the end of March to face charges over attacks on social networks.

Sessions and Pelikan spoke about the need of joint fight against cyber crime and agreed that cyber attacks must not be tolerated. Sessions previously said that cyber piracy is not just crime, but a direct threat to the security and privacy of citizens, Schejbalova said.

The Czech police detained Nikulin in October 2016 on the basis of an U.S. arrest warrant over his suspected crimes from 2012-13. According to U.S. investigators, Nikulin attacked the LinkedIn and Formspring social networks and the Dropbox online storage.

Russia had been requesting Nikulin’s extradition due to an online theft he had allegedly committed. Pelikan argued the U.S. request was better justified.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan had before praised the Czech cabinet for having extradited Nikulin, while the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed outrage over his extradition to the USA, arguing that the Czech Republic did not follow legal standards, but wanted to demonstrate loyalty with its ally. Czech President Milos Zeman was also critical of the decision on Nikulin’s extradition, having previously appealed on Pelikan to extradite him to Russia.

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