Prague, March 27 (CTK) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan believes that the Czech Republic will extradite alleged Russian hacker Yevgenyi Nikulin to the United States, he told a press conference following a speech he delivered in the lower house of Czech parliament today.
Russia applied for Nikulin’s extradition as well.
Ryan said he talked about Nikulin’s case at the meeting he had with his Czech colleagues this week.
He dismissed the view that he tried to exert pressure on Czech representatives in relation to the case.
Ryan, currently on a private visit in Prague, said he told his Czech partners it is necessary to observe the rules. He said he expects Nikulin to be extradited to the USA provided that the U.S. and Czech laws are met.
Nikulin has been under arrest in Prague since 2016, based on an international arrest warrant issued by the USA. The USA suspects him of a hacking attack on the Linkedin and Formspring social networks in 2012-13. Russia accused him of a rather small online theft from 2009.
Nikulin claims that the USA asked for his extradition only because it wants him to confess that he hacked the e-mails of unsuccessful presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the Kremlin’s order. He said FBI agents told him he would not be punished if he made the confession.
The Czech justice minister has the final say on the case. Justice Minister Robert Pelikan said in February that President Milos Zeman asked for the extradition of Nikulin to Russia.
The Czech Constitutional Court has recently suspended the execution of the decision on the extradition admissibility pending its own verdict on Nikulin’s complaint. According to some sources from the Justice Ministry, the suspension may in fact block the extradition for long, even for up to years.