Justice minister confirms president lobbied for Nikulin

Justice Minister Robert Pelikan has confirmed that President Zeman had lobbied for alleged hacker Yevgeny Nikulin to be handed over to the authorities in Russia rather than to the US, where he faces charges of hacking the computers of major internet companies including LinkedIn.

Minister Pelikan said the president has brought up the matter at two meetings with him and the president’s Chancellor Vratislav Mynář had visited him this week to discuss the issue. Pelikan said he considered the pressure unacceptable.

Nikulin is wanted in Moscow on charges of stealing less than CZK 50,000 from a bank account.He was arrested in Prague in 2016 on the basis of an Interpol arrest warrant requested by the American government.