President Miloš Zeman has welcomed this week’s Constitutional Court ruling striking down a March 2018 order to extradite suspected Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin to the United States. In a televised interview on Thursday, Mr Zeman said he warned former justice minister Robert Pelikán that the move was illegal – and accused him of being an American lackey.
The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic has turned down a third
complaint by alleged Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin that he was wrongly
refused asylum in the Czech Republic and extradited to the United States to
The verdict upheld earlier rulings by lower-instance courts which said Nikulin did not have the right to asylum in the Czech Republic on humanitarian grounds.
Nikulin was arrested in Prague in 2016 with both Russian and US authorities calling for him to be handed over.
In March of this year he was extradited to the US where he is suspected of hacking computers at Silicon Valley firms including LinkedIn and Dropbox. The decision sparked protests from Russia and was criticized by President Miloš Zeman.
The Senate’s security committee has criticised President Miloš Zeman for
tasking the BIS intelligence service with investigating whether the nerve
agent Novichok was produced or stored in the Czech Republic. The committee
also rejected the position of Mr. Zeman’s office on the extradition of
alleged Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin to the US after Prague Castle
officials accused the government of mishandling the situation.
Senators described Mr. Zeman’s actions in regard to both issues as a security and foreign policy risk. They also called on the head of state not to make similar interventions in the future and to respect the powers granted to him by the constitution.
President Zeman asked the head of BIS to investigate whether Novichok, with which a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned in the UK, might have come from the Czech Republic, as claimed by Moscow.
The UK blames Russia for the attack and the Czech Republic was one of several countries to expel Russian diplomats over the matter.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement saying
Russia’s negative reaction to the extradition of Russian alleged hacker
Yevgeny Nikulin to the United States had been expected. Via its Twitter
account, the ministry said on Tuesday that Moscow’s response had not been
Nevertheless, from the Czech Republic’s perspective the move was a sovereign decision based on independent courts, including the Constitutional Court, the statement said.
Last week Mr. Nikulin was handed over to the United States, where he will face charges of stealing data from major internet companies. He is wanted in his native country on lesser charges and Russia had also requested his extradition.
The Constitutional Court says an application to extradite Russian alleged
hacker Yevgeny Nikulin to the United States was well-founded. The
country’s top court on Tuesday published the reasoning behind its
decision to respect the US’s request for the handover of Mr. Nikulin. He
faces charges of hacking top internet companies, including LinkedIn and
The Czech justice minister, Robert Pelikán, extradited Mr. Nikulin to the US after the Constitutional Court’s ruling last week, which lifted any obstacle to him doing so.
Mr. Nikulin’s lawyer, Martin Sadílek, said he was waiting to hear from Mr. Nikulin’s parents as to whether they want to take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has slammed the Czech Republic’s
decision to extradite its national, alleged hacker Yevgeny Nikulin, to the
The Russian foreign ministry issued a statement on Monday calling it a “politically motivated” decision made to demonstrate allegiance, rather than a decision on the basis of legal grounds.
It said the decision would inevitably undermine Czech-Russian relations.
The Czech lawyer of alleged Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin, whom the Czech
Republic recently extradited to the United States wants to challenge the
decision at the Czech Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human
Lawyer Martin Sadílek said he considers the justice minister’s decision to extradite Nikulin to the US legally shaky since the minister had not given Nikulin a chance to appeal the verdict of the Constitutional Court which rejected his complaint against extradition as „groundless“. The lawyer says that this could open the door to compensation for Nikulin.
The Stars and Stripes flew alongside the Czech flag on the front of the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday in honour of a visit by Paul Ryan, the speaker of the US House of Representatives. While the speaker is in the Czech Republic on vacation, he met with the prime minister, the Czech speaker and other officials. In his address to the lower house, a rare honour, he spoke about the United States’ commitment to its allies and openly condemned attempts by Russia to sow discord between Prague and Washington.
Alleged Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin, whose extradition is being sought
by both the United States and Russia, does not have the right to asylum in
the Czech Republic on humanitarian grounds, Prague’s Municipal Court
ruled on Friday.
The decision is binding and Mr Nikulin could challenge it only by filing a cassation complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court.
Judge Dana Černá said the court had deemed the “only reason” Mr Nikulin had filed for asylum was to avoid extradition. In the US he is suspected of hacking computers at Silicon Valley firms including LinkedIn and Dropbox, while the Russian authorities have charged him with Internet theft. He was arrested in Prague in 2016.
The Constitutional Court has postponed the enforceability of a decision on
the extradition of alleged Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin to the United
States or Russia, until the court reaches a decision on his appeal, the ctk
news agency reported on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the Constitutional Court
said it was not clear how long the ruling could take.
Yevgeny Nikulin lodged a constitutional appeal against a ruling by the Supreme Court allowing his extradition to the United States and against his continued remand in custody in the Czech Republic. Both the US and Russia are seeking his extradition.
In the US he is supected of hacking computers at Silicon Valley firms including LinkedIn and Dropbox, while the Russian authorities have charged him with Internet theft.
It recently emerged that President Zeman had repeatedly lobbied for Nikulin’s extradition to Russia. A final decision is to be made by the Czech justice minister.