PRAGUE, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Prague Municipal Court ruled on Tuesday that suspected Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin, who was detained in a Prague hotel in October 2016, can be sent to both the United States and Russia for trial.
The United States and Russia officially requested the Czech Republic extradite Nikulin the day after he was detained.
Nikulin, 29, immediately filed a complaint against Tuesday's resolution on the admissibility of his extradition to the United States. His case will therefore be dealt with by a high court, and the final decision will be up to the justice minister.
In his ruling, Judge Jaroslav Pytloun said it was his task to determine whether the applications to have Nikulin extradited to stand trial fulfilled the conditions for a positive answer or not. According to Pytloun, both applications were on roughly the same content level and the documents presented by both countries were sufficient. Pytloun said the conduct of which the United States and Russia accuse Nikulin is punishable in the Czech Republic.
The United States seeks Nikulin's extradition for nine actions they believe he committed from 2012 to 2013, including the attack on the LinkedIn social network and the servers of the Dropbox and Formspring companies for which he faces up to 30 years in prison and a one-million-U.S.-dollar fine.
According to the U.S. investigators, Nikulin used the Internet to hack computers of the LinkedIn professional network in March 2012, gaining user passwords with the aim to either sell the stolen data or use it for unauthorized access to further computers and accounts. Russia issued an arrest warrant for Nikulin's online theft of finances amounting to 3,450 U.S. dollars in 2009.
Nikulin has said he prefers being extradited to Russia where he is facing a lesser punishment. But he denies the allegation that he is a hacker, arguing that it is only based on the claims of U.S. Federal Bureau of Intelligence agents.