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Moscow to seek release of Russian national accused of hacker attack in US — diplomat

February 18, 2015, 20:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian diplomats would support Vladimir Drinkman's lawyers in their efforts to release the Russian citizen who had been extradited to the United States from the Netherlands last week
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MOSCOW, February18. /TASS/. Russian diplomats will make every effort to speed up the release of Vladimir Drinkman, the Russian national accused by Washington of organizing the largest hacker attack in the US history, a senior Foreign Ministry official said on Wednesday.

"I hope our consulate officials will visit Drinkman shortly," said Konstantin Dolgov, the ministry's human rights commissioner.

He said the Russian diplomats would "support his lawyers in their efforts to release the Russian citizen" who had been extradited to the United States from the Netherlands last week.

Dolgov accused the US authorities of "continuing hunt for Russian citizens in third countries and forcing their governments to extradite Russian citizens to the US where ... they have no guarantee of a fair trial."

He called this practice "aggravating factor in the Russian-US relations," which also contradicted bilateral agreements.

According to US investigators, Drinkman and also three other Russian citizens and a Ukrainian national are involved in organizing the hacking of computer networks of several companies and stealing of the numbers of about 160 million credit cards.

The scam victims, among others, are the NASDAQ electronic exchange, JetBlue airline, JC Penney and 7-Eleven trading networks, French retailer Carrefour and Belgian bank Dexia. The losses caused by the hackers exceeded $300 million.

Drinkman, who is the prime suspect in the case, could face up to 20 years behind bars in the US.

This January, a court in the Netherlands ruled in favor of Drinkman’s extradition to the US. Russia has also sought the citizen’s extradition. Drinkman said he wanted to be extradited to Russia where his daughter and an ex-wife live.

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