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Father of Russian hacking suspect in US seeks criminal counts against ‘kidnappers’

August 26, 2014, 16:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Roman Seleznyov, 30, was detained at the international airport of the Maldives’ capital Male on July 5 and taken to a jail on the island of Guam on cyber fraud charges
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Russian lawmaker Valery Seleznyov

Russian lawmaker Valery Seleznyov

© ITAR-TASS/Vyacheslav Prokofyev

MOSCOW, August 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian lawmaker Valery Seleznyov said on Tuesday that Russia prepares documents to initiate criminal proceedings against alleged ‘kidnappers’ of his son Roman Seleznyov, who was arrested last month in the Maldives on US warrant and then relocated to a jail on Guam.

Roman Seleznyov, 30, was detained at the international airport of the Maldives’ capital Male on July 5 and taken to a jail on the island of Guam on cyber fraud charges.

According to the lawmaker from the Russian parliament’s lower house, “documents, which prove an existence of a direct criminal context in the case, are currently being prepared within the frame of the Russian jurisdiction.”

“This case involves Maldivians as well as US secret services, and it is necessary for us to initiate criminal proceedings against perpetrators and masterminds of this crime against the Russian citizen,” Seleznev told ITAR-TASS.

“With the involvement of our lawyers, we will be insisting on his release and return back to Russia as a victim of kidnapping,” the lawmaker added.

American investigators suspect Seleznyov of having intended to steal, and then sell, information about the credit cards of US citizens between October 2009 and February 2011. He is suspected of theft of some 200,000 credit card numbers of American people.

In March 2011, a court in the State of Washington charged him in absentia with 29 counts, which jointly entail imprisonment for several dozen years and a fine of several million US dollars.

On August 1, US District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ordered Seleznyov’s transfer to the State of Washington, claiming that the Russian should face his indictment there.

Moscow claims that Seleznyov was not arrested but “kidnapped” by the US authorities and the case against him is politically motivated.

In mid-July, the Russian Foreign Ministry presented a demarche to the US Embassy in Moscow in connection with the charges brought against Seleznyov and another Russian citizen, Konstantin Yaroshenko, in the United States.

Russian pilot Yaroshenko was detained by the US authorities in Liberia in 2010 and then taken to the United States. In September 2011, a US court sentenced him to 20 years in prison for having been allegedly involved in a criminal ring organized for smuggling a large shipment of cocaine. Yaroshenko denied the accusations. Moscow believes that the pressed charges against him were politically motivated.

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