Accused hacker Baratov may waive right to extradition hearing, lawyer says
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, June 16, 2017 10:09AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 16, 2017 1:09PM EDT
HAMILTON -- A Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails may decide not to fight his extradition to the U.S.
Karim Baratov's lawyer said Friday his client is considering waiving his right to an extradition hearing, which means he could be sent to face justice south of the border within weeks of that decision.
Amedeo DiCarlo made the surprise announcement in Hamilton court, adding the decision would come at a hearing on July 7.
Baratov was arrested in Hamilton in March under the Extradition Act after U.S. authorities indicted him and three others -- two of them allegedly officers of Russia's Federal Security Service -- for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.
Indications that Baratov may not fight extradition come as his legal team have "considerable discussions" with American authorities in the hopes of securing a good outcome, DiCarlo said outside court.
The threshold for extradition is low and trying to fight it might just stall the process for Baratov, who remains in custody, DiCarlo said.
The case could also face more delays in Canada because the RCMP has requested several more months before it has to disclose its evidence to the defence, he said.
"I don't want him to serve more time than necessary, it may be that if he were to be exonerated or receive no custodial term in the U.S., he's serving time here for no reason," he said.
Consenting to extradition would not mean admitting to guilt, DiCarlo said.
"This is a U.S. case, U.S. charges, that's where we should be," the lawyer said. "I have to move forward. Mr. Baratov is anxious -- like I said, he's getting bored."
An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that Baratov, 22, was too much of a flight risk to be released on bail until his extradition hearing, a decision that was upheld on appeal last week.
Baratov's lawyers previously said they would fight extradition and that the allegations against their client are inflated.