Suspected Russian hacker Nikulin extradited to US - Czech media, source

Suspected Russian hacker Nikulin extradited to US - Czech media, source”

His extradition from the Czech Republic to the United States was a culmination of a year-and-a-half-long legal and political battle between the U.S. and Russian Federation, and the case reached the highest levels of politics in the Czech Republic, the USA and Russian Federation.

A Russian hacker suspected of stealing 117 million LinkedIn passwords in 2012 has been extradited to the United States after a protracted diplomatic struggle between the USA and Russia, the Czech Justice Ministry said on Friday. Justice Ministry spokeswoman Tereza Schejbalova confirmed on Twitter Friday that Nikulin was transferred to the US overnight. "He has already flown out".

The charges stem from a probe by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and a 2016 US federal grand jury indictment reached in California.

LinkedIn has said the case was related to a 2012 breach at the social networking company that it previously said may have compromised the credentials of 100 million users, prompting it to launch a massive password reset operation. In November 2016, Czech authorities received requests for Nikulin's extradition from the both countries.

In an interview with RFE/RL in Prague on March 26, Ryan said that the "case for extraditing [Nikulin] to America versus Russian Federation is extremely clear". But Pelikan had said that President Milos Zeman - known for his relatively pro-Kremlin views - has advocated handing the suspected hacker over to Russian Federation.

However, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who is now trying to form a new Cabinet after losing a confidence vote last month, said he favored the US.

Babis needs Zeman's support as he tries to build a new government after his minority cabinet lost a confidence vote last month.

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.

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