Yesterday, Mr Trevor Martin Horsley was released from a pretrial detention centre in Russia. His lawyer reported that he was released and was scheduled to fly back to the UK in a matter of hours. His release was ordered after Interpol sent documents from the UAE confirming that Mr Horsley’s criminal charges had been dropped and that the information on a search for him was flawed.
Ex-Forest Green Rovers chairman, Trevor Horsley was arrested last week when he arrived in Russia to watch a World Cup match. He is wanted in Dubai on fraud charges. Russian authorities arrested Mr Horsley on an INTERPOL Red Notice.
It is believed that the alleged fraud took place in the UAE in 2011. Mr Horsley’s lawyer has confirmed that he had already paid a fine in relation to the fraud, after finding out about legal action against him, when he flew through Qatar, in 2013.
It is believed that he is being held in a pre-trial detention centre. His family back in the UK, have growing fears for his health as he is suffering from lung cancer.
Alexander Vinnik has been imprisoned in northern Greece since last summer. He was originally arrested after the US requested his extradition to face charges of laundering more than $4 billion on a bitcoin trading platform. This week France joined Russia and the US who are already competing to have Vinnik extradited. French authorities would like Vinnik extradited so he can face cybercrime, money-laundering and extortion charges. The Supreme Court of Greece has already ruled in favour of extraditing him to the United States, but another lower Greek court ruled for his extradition to Russia. The case is ongoing, but it will be the Greek Justice Minister who has the final word on Vinnik’s extradition.
This week Mr Rodrigo Dinardi Vicentini attended Brazil’s World Cup group stage match in Russia where he was promptly arrested by Russian authorities and may face extradition back to Brazil. Mr Vincentini has been flagged by INTERPOL as wanted by the Brazilian authorities since 2017. He is accused of being involved in the robberies of a number of Brazilian post offices and could face up to 50 years in prison if he is convicted upon his return to Brazil.
Last week, a former adviser to President Putin, Dr Alexander Alexandrovich Shapovalov, had his extradition to Russia blocked by Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Dr Shapovalov’s extradition was requested by Russia because he has been convicted of fraud and sentenced, on appeal, to 9 years and 10 months imprisonment. Dr Shapovalov’s lawyers argued that the fraud charges were ‘trumped up’ and that he faced an unfair prosecution, a risk of torture if he was imprisoned in Russia and other breaches of his human rights. Sheriff Ross accepted that Dr Shapovalov did not receive a fair trial and criticised the Russian Federation’s justice system explaining that if Dr Shapovalov were extradited to Russia he would face unfair prosecution, possible torture and inhuman conditions in the Russian prison system. Sheriff Ross dismissed the evidence from Russia as ‘poor quality, inadequate and misdirected.’
Yevgeniy Nikulin, a Russian man accused by the US of hacking into file-hosting site Dropbox and social networks LinkedIn and Formspring in 2012-13, has been extradited to the US and is due to appear in court today for a detention hearing. Nikulin was the subject of competing claims from the US and Russia for his extradition from the Czech Republic, having been accused by Russia of the much less serious crime of involvement in a $2,000 electronic theft in 2009 (see previous blog).
It is the not the first time that Russia has lodged a competing extradition claim when one of its nationals is facing extradition. If convicted in the US, Nikulin could receive a custodial sentence of several decades.
The speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan has said that he expects the Czech Republic to find in favour of a US request for the extradition of accused Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin, which is up against a competing request for his extradition from Russia. The US accuses Nikulin of hacking into file-hosting site Dropbox and social networks LinkedIn and Formspring in 2012-13, whereas Russia suspects him of involvement in a $2,000 electronic theft in 2009.
Czech Prime Minister Babis has supported the US extradition request, setting him at odds with his president Milos Zeman who is said to support the Russian claim.
The Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court, its highest forum for constitutional matters, has halted the extradition of alleged Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin to either the US or Russia until it rules on a complaint filed by his lawyers. The nature of the complaint has not been made public, but Mr Nikulin has no appeals left.
Mr Nikulin was arrested in the Czech Republic in 2016 and is accused by the US of hacking into file-hosting site Dropbox and social networks LinkedIn and Formspring in 2012-13, whereas Russia suspects him of involvement in a $2,000 electronic theft in 2009. He has argued that he would not receive a fair trial in the US.
The Czech Republic’s Minister of Justice Robert Pelikan, who is to decide between on the competing extradition requests after the courts ruled them both lawful, has said that he will base his decision on where the most serious crimes were committed. Mr Pelikan has said that the Czech Republic’s president Milos Zeman asked him to export Nikulin to Russia “repeatedly and vehemently”, but that he was not swayed by the request.
The Czech Republic’s Minister of Justice Robert Pelikan, who is to decide between competing Russian and US extradition requests for alleged Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin, has said that he will base his decision on where the most serious crimes were committed. Speaking to Czech legislators, he also said he would take into account which request was made first.
Both of these factors appear to work in the favour of the US, which accuses Nikulin of more serious crimes and made its extradition request before Russia. The US accuses him of hacking into file-hosting site Dropbox and social networks LinkedIn and Formspring in 2012-13, whereas Russia suspects him of involvement in a $2,000 electronic theft in 2009. He has argued that he would not receive a fair trial in the US.
Mr Pelikan has said that the Czech Republic’s president Milos Zeman asked him to export Nikulin to Russia “repeatedly and vehemently”, but that he was not swayed by the request.
Bill Browder, who this week was sentenced in absentia by a Court in Moscow to 9 years imprisonment, has called on Interpol “to suspend Russia’s membership for flagrant abuse of the Interpol system” after Russia lodged its 6th request for his arrest and extradition. The previous 5 applications were turned down for being politically motivated.
The Russian court found Browder guilty of tax evasion and deliberate bankruptcy. His lawyers have said that he will appeal the ruling, which is based on allegations he has long said are motivated by revenge. Since his Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death in a Moscow prison in 2009, which he believes to have been at the hands of Russian officials, Browder has led a successful global campaign for sanctions on those involved and on human rights abusers in Russia generally.