A Russian man arrested in Prague last year in connection with allegedly hacking LinkedIn and other American Internet companies may be extradited to the United States to face related charges, a Czech court agreed Friday.
Prague’s High Court on Friday upheld an earlier ruling authorizing the extradition of Yevgeniy Nikulin to the U.S., putting the accused cybercriminal closer than ever to being tried on nine charges connected to a 2012 hacking spree that claimed the widely visited jobs site as well as fellow California-based companies Dropbox and Formspring, according to federal prosecutors.
Mr. Nikulin’s fate now rests in the hands of Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, notwithstanding a last ditch effort to challenge Friday’s ruling, Reuters reported.
“I don’t share the legal opinion of the High Court,” defense attorney Martin Sadilek told Reuters, adding that he’s weighing steps to potentially reverse the ruling.
Mr. Nikulin was apprehended by Czech authorities inside a Prague hotel in October 2016 after becoming the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol. He was formally indicted by the Justice Department three weeks later on counts including computer hacking and aggravated identity theft.
He has remained in Czech custody ever since.
Russia has separately brought charges against Mr. Nikulin in connection with a 2009 hack, and the Czech justice ministry received extradition requests from Moscow and Washington “virtually at the same time,” a representative said last November.
Prague’s Municipal Court ruled in May that both requests were valid, prompting Mr. Nikulin to mount a legal challenge against being extradited to the U.S. that culminated in the High Court’s ruling this week.
Mr. Pelikan has not indicated where he plans to send Mr. Nikulin, and it’s not clear when his decision will be published, The Associated Press reported.
LinkedIn previously said that the 2012 breach may have compromised the credentials of 100 million users.