Man Accused Of Russian Yahoo Hack To Face Charges In The US

Karim Baratov, the man accused of hacking Yahoo on behalf of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), has agreed to be extradited to the United States and face the charges that the Department of Justice (DOJ) brought against him in March, his lawyer Amedo DiCarlo confirmed on Monday. Mr. DiCarlo was quick to note that the move does not equate to an admission of guilt and was instead simply made in an effort to speed up the legal proceedings and allow Mr. Baratov and his legal representative to start discussing the case with the competent U.S. prosecutor sooner. The 22-year-old accused of hacking the Sunnyvale, California-based company which recently sold its core business to Verizon had an extradition hearing scheduled in September which has now been canceled after he agreed to be extradited and U.S. marshals are expected to come to Canada in the coming days and deliver him to a competent Californian court.

Mr. Baratov officially signed a document agreeing to be extradited on Friday, five months after being arrested in Hamilton, Ontario, in accordance with the Extradition Act. His arrest followed an indictment by the U.S. DOJ which accused him of hacking Yahoo alongside three accomplices, two of which are said to be FSB operatives. Apart from the hacking itself, Mr. Baratov and other men are also facing charges of economic espionage, the DOJ previously confirmed. U.S. authorities recently alleged that despite his Kazakh roots, the defendant wasn't working on the FSB's behalf for ideological reasons and was simply hired to compromise Yahoo's systems in 2014. Mr. Baratov lived in Canada for the last decade and officially became its citizen in 2011, though his status doesn't protect him from the U.S. justice system due to the extradition treaty the country has with Canada.

The other three defendants — Alexsey Belan, Igor Sushchin, and Dmitry Dokuchaev — are all believed to currently reside in Russia and are hence unlikely to ever face their charges in the U.S. In light of recent developments, it's possible that Mr. Baratov will receive a preliminary verdict in California by the end of 2018, whereas the other three defendants are expected to be tried in absence.

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