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Czech police, FBI arrest suspected Russian hacker in Prague

Czech police said they arrested a Russian man suspected of conducting cyberattacks in the United States. It is unknown whether the suspect was involved with attacks against political institutions in the United States.

Czech police on Wednesday announced the detention of a Russian citizen suspected of conducting cyberattacks against the United States, after a joint operation with the FBI.

Police said Interpol placed an international warrant on the man, who has not been identified. The man was arrested in a Prague hotel, later collapsed, received first aid and was hospitalized. Police spokesman David Schoen said the arrest took place on October 5, saying that authorities delayed releasing information on the case for "tactical reasons."

Prague's municipal court is now set to rule on a possible extradition to the United States. Court spokeswoman Marketa Puci said that one week ago, the court ruled the suspect would stay in detention until his extradition hearing. There is no date for that as yet.

Russian news agencies TASS and RIA Novosti quoted Prague's Russian Embassy Spokesman Alexey Kolmakov as saying that Moscow demanded the man's return. "The embassy has been taking all necessary efforts to protect the interests of this Russian citizen. We are in contact with his attorney," the embassy statement said.

At this point it is unclear whether the man arrested is linked to the broadly publicized allegations of Russian hackers targeting US political institutions ahead of next month's elections. Russia has repeatedly and vigorously rejected those accusations.

Russia is accused of favoring Republican party candidate Donald Trump, who has praised Russian President Vladmir Putin and called for better ties with Moscow. 

kbd/msh (AFP, AP)

 

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