Criminal Justice

Judge says Russian's arrest in Maldives was legal; he will face charges in US

A federal judge in the U.S. territory of Guam ruled that the arrest in a foreign country of an accused Russian hacker was permissible under U.S. law and that he can be delivered to Seattle to face multiple charges, the Associated Press and the Moscow Times report.

Roman Seleznev is charged in a federal indictment in Seattle on multiple counts alleging he hacked into retail companies’ computers, installed malware and stole credit card numbers that he sold for more than $2 million.

Seleznev, the son of a Russian lawmaker, was arrested by a U.S. Secret Service special agent in early July in Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The Russian Foreign Ministry has described Seleznev’s arrest and transfer as a kidnapping. Seleznev’s American lawyer, Patrick Civille, told U.S. District Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood that the case should be dismissed and that arresting him and taking him to the U.S. territory was “outrageous conduct by the U.S.”

The judge agreed with prosecutors that rulings by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court permit forcible abduction on foreign soil.

Seleznev faces similar charges in Nevada.

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