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Russian hacker complains about stay in Czech psychiatric clinic

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Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – Alleged Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin has filed a constitutional complaint against his hospitalisation in a Prague psychiatric clinic, the public Czech Radio reported on Wednesday.

Nikulin was sent to a psychiatric ward shortly after the police arrested him and he was kept there for five days.

Nikulin’s defence lawyer said this was an expedient step by the police as they did not have all necessary documents (for his custody). The police refused to comment on this.

Nikulin has been in custody in the Prague-Pankrac prison for more than one year.

Both the United States and Russia seek his extradition on suspicion of computer hacking.

The Czech police in cooperation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) detained Nikulin in a Prague hotel in October 2016. He was remanded in custody.

Czech Radio has reporters that Nikulin felt sick after the arrest so he was sent to hospital where no health troubles were diagnosed. This is why he was transported to the psychiatric clinic in Prague-Bohnice.

The five-day hospitalisation was just an expedient extension of the two-day deadline the police have to propose remanding in custody after the detention, Nikulin’s defence lawyer Martin Sadilek says.

“This deadline was several times overstepped by his unlawful hospitalisation. Even without it, the deadline would be exceeded in our opinion. Though the proposal for custody was submitted, Mr Nikulin was not brought to court within the 48 hours,” Sadilek told the radio.

This is why he filed a constitutional complaint.

The police internal control section has also received the complaint and is dealing with, Police Presidium spokeswoman Ivana Nguyenova told the radio.

According to a medical report cited by the radio, Nikulin was sent to the psychiatric hospital since he suffered from acute stress and could harm himself after the detention.

Bohnice hospital director Martin Holly refused to comment on the treatment of Nikulin, referring to medical confidentiality.

The United States charge Nikulin of nine different criminal acts from 2012-13. He is suspected of having attacked the Linkedin social network and the servers of the Dropbox and Formspring companies for which he faces up to 30 years in prison and a one-million-dollar fine.

Russia issued a warrant for Nikulin’s arrest on suspicion of an Internet theft of finances amounting $3,450 in 2009.

The Prague High Court will deal with Nikulin’s complaint against the decision that his extradition to the United States is admissible in public proceedings on Friday.

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