The man accused of being involved in a massive hack of Yahoo email accounts was denied bail in Canada, delaying U.S. plans to have him extradited.
According to Reuters, prosecutors argued that Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen who was born in Kazakhstan, posed a flight risk. Baratov will now remain in Canadian custody until his next bail hearing at the end of May, with sources saying that the attorney general of Canada will be ready to proceed with an extradition hearing by June 12.
The United States has accused Baratov of working with Russian intelligence agents who paid him to break into at least 80 email accounts, including those of specific targets with non-Yahoo accounts. And last month, the United States charged two Russian intelligence agents, Baratov and another alleged hacker over the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, marking the first time the U.S. government had criminally charged Russian spies for cybercrimes.
Baratov faces U.S. charges including conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and identify theft and could face decades in an American jail if found guilty on all charges.
“Why would he stick around?” the judge in Canada wrote in a nine-page decision. “He can continue his wealth-generating activities anywhere in the world.”
Baratov’s attorney, Amedeo DiCarlo, said he would consider appealing the bail decision if the court is unable to schedule a prompt extradition hearing.
The other alleged hacker in the Yahoo case is Alexsey Belan, one of the FBI’s most-wanted cybercriminals. Belan was arrested in Europe in June 2013 but escaped to Russia before he could be extradited to the United States.