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WASHINGTON, April 7. /TASS/. The beginning of trial of Russian hacking suspect Roman Seleznev in the US has been rescheduled for August 15 at the request of his defense, Seleznev’s lawyer John Henry Browne told TASS when commenting preparations for the trial.
"Roman has had some very bad legal advice in the past, we are playing catch up. We have a substantial defense to these politically inspired charges. The USA violated international law and our own principals to kidnap him. It is very offensive to me, to say the least. This case is political as the charges are not that serious but our Government is blowing it out of proportion," he said.
When asked about health of Seleznev, Browne said "His health is Okay. We are watching closely."
Roman Seleznev was detained at the international airport of the Maldives’ capital Male on July 5, 2014 and taken to a jail on the island of Guam on cyber fraud charges. The district court of Guam refuses to release Seleznev and decided to relocate him to Seattle in the state of Washington, where the charges against him were initially filed.
American investigators suspect Seleznev of having intended to steal, and then sell, information about the credit cards of US citizens between October 2009 and February 2011. According to the US investigators, he is involved of theft of some 200,000 credit card numbers of American people. The prosecutors brought 40 charges against Seleznev and he faces 30 years in jail.
Moscow claims that Seleznev was not arrested but "kidnapped" by the US authorities and the case against him is politically motivated.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry repeatedly voiced protests against the policy of the US authorities, which encourage US special services to "literally kidnap our citizens abroad." The tragic cases of Roman Seleznev and Konstantin Yaroshenko are examples of that policy. The US authorities put the Russian citizens to prison where they are deprived of proper medical aid, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
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.