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In Czech, a Russian citizen Yevgenity Nikulin said in court that United States authorities approached him twice to convince Nikulin to falsely testify that he had hacked the DNC emails for Trump and was ordered to do so by the Russian government.
Nikulin’s lawyer suggested that the US charges against him are prompted for political reasons to blame him for the DNC leaks.
“[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton’s inbox for [U.S. President Donald Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin],” Nikulin wrote, according to The Moscow Times.
From the AP:
A Czech court ruled Tuesday that a Russian man who faces charges of hacking computers at American companies can be extradited either to the United States or Russia – and the suspect immediately appealed his possible extradition to the United States.
Czech authorities arrested Yevgeniy Nikulin in Prague in cooperation with the FBI in October after Interpol issued an international warrant. He is accused of stealing information from LinkedIn, Dropbox and other companies…
“I’m innocent,” Nikulin said through a translator at the hearing Tuesday. “I haven’t done anything illegal. I have nothing to do with that.”
Nikulin appealed his extradition to the United States. He has three days to decide if he will agree to being extradited to Russia. Justice Minister Robert Pelikan will have the final say on where Nikulin goes after Prague’s High Court decides his appeal.
Nikulin’s defense lawyers have said the U.S. charges were based on one FBI agent, and suggested the U.S. was seeking him for political reasons – to use him as a pawn in the investigation into alleged Russian hacking in the U.S. election.
He claimed in the courtroom that he was twice approached by U.S. authorities – in November and in February – in the absence of his previous lawyer. He said they urged him to falsely testify that he was cooperating in the hacking attack on the Democratic National Committee ordered by Russian authorities. He said U.S. authorities would, in exchange, give him money and a life in the United States.
“I rejected doing it,” Nikulin said.