Yevgeni Nikulin (29) was requested by the US for alleged cyber attacks on social networks and by the Russian authorities that charged him with frauds.
According to US authorities, the man targeted LinkedIn and Formspring and hacked into the file hosting service Dropbox.
The Russian criminal was arrested in Prague in October 2016 in an international joint operation with the FBI.
In May, a Czech court ruled that Nikulin can be extradited to either Russia or the United States, leaving the final decision to the Justice Minister Robert Pelikan.
“It is true there have been two meetings this year where the president asked me not to extradite a Russian citizen to the United States but to Russia,” the website of the weekly newspaper Respekt quoted Pelikan as saying.
In 2016, Pelikan did not allow to extradite two Lebanese citizens charged by US court with several crimes, including the sale of ground-to-air missiles and cocaine trafficking.
“Respekt also quoted Babis, who professes a strong pro-EU and NATO stance, as saying earlier this month he would prefer Nikulin to be sent to the United States, but had no power over the decision. His spokeswoman declined comment.” reported the New York Times.
Zeman was re-elected in January, he is known for his pro-Russian line and its opposition to Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its 2014 annexation of Crimea.
The Respekt site said last week Pelikan received Vratislav Mynar, the head of Zeman’s office.
“It’s none of your business, but I have handed the minister a letter from the detained Nikulin’s mother,” Mynar told aktualne.cz.
Nikulin’s lawyer Martin Sadilek told AFP that Nikulin alleges that FBI investigators had tried twice to persuade him to confess to cyberattacks on the DNC.
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(Security Affairs – Yevgeni Nikulin, cybercrime)