Spain Hands Over Russian Programmer Accused of Cybercrimes to US


Russian national Petr Levashov was detained by Spanish police during a family vacation last April in Barcelona at the request of Washington. The United States has accused the man of hacking activities.

The Spanish national police announced on Friday that a “cybercriminal who has created global cybernetic infrastructure for conducting illegal criminal activities” was handed over to US Marshals.

The Spanish National court ruled on October 3, 2017, to extradite Levashov to the United States, where he has been accused of a “number of cybercrimes, including computer fraud and theft of personal data.” Despite the Russian citizen’s lawyers filed an appeal against the decision, it was later upheld.

The US authorities accused Levashov of creating a computer network to control “hundreds of thousands of computers,” spreading malicious software and extorting money from users. Levashov was charged by the courts of US states of Alaska, Michigan, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia.

Last April, soon after Levashov was detained, the New York Times revealed that US law enforcement agencies had been preparing an operation to capture the programmer for several years and even visited Moscow in order to get assistance on that. However, the report noted that US authorities didn’t seek help.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a notification saying that the Russian citizens may be detained or arrested at the requests of US security services.

“Despite our calls to establish cooperation between the authorities of Russia and the United States on the basis of the bilateral Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1999, the US intelligence services continue to actually “hunt” for Russians around the world,” the statement by the ministry reads.


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