Alleged Russian Hacker Nikulin Pleads Not Guilty After
Extradition To U.S.
March 30, 2018
A Russian hacker who allegedly stole data and is wanted by both
Washington and Moscow has pleaded not guilty to the charges at a
court in San Francisco after being extradited to the United
States from the Czech Republic.
Yevgeny Nikulin is accused of hacking big Internet companies
including LinkedIn and Dropbox in 2012 and 2013. In the United
States, he faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on
charges that include computer intrusion and identity theft.
But his case became an international tug-of-war when Russia made
a rival extradition request shortly after the United States put
forward its request. In Russia, Nikulin is wanted for alleged
involvement in an online theft of about $2,000 in 2009.
"In all, Nikulin is charged with three counts of computer
intrusion; two counts of intentional transmission of
information, code, or command causing damage to a protected
computer; two counts of aggravated identity theft; one count of
trafficking in unauthorized access devices; and one count of
conspiracy," the indictment released by the Department of
Nikulin's court hearing came hours after Czech Justice Minister
Robert Pelikan made the decision to extradite him after the
country's top court said it rejected a last-minute appeal from
During a visit to the Czech Republic, U.S. House Speaker Paul
Ryan said on March 27 in Prague that "we have every reason to
believe and expect that Mr. Nikulin will be extradited to
In an interview with RFE/RL in Prague on March 26, Ryan said
that the "case for extraditing [Nikulin] to America versus
Russia is extremely clear."
Ryan, who met with Prime Minister Andrej Babis and other Czech
officials during his visit, told RFE/RL that he would raise the
issue in those talks.
did violate our laws, he did hack these companies.... So the
extradition claim is very legitimate," he said. "And I just
expect that the Czech system will go through its process, and at
the end of that process, I am hopeful and expecting that he'll
The tug-of-war over Nikulin had led to some friction in the
Babis has said Nikulin should be extradited to the United
States. But Pelikan had said that President Milos Zeman -- known
for his relatively pro-Kremlin views -- has advocated handing
the suspected hacker over to Russia.
Nikulin's lawyer said his client claimed the FBI is trying to
link him to the hacking of the Democratic Party's servers during
the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.