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Russian Programmer Arrested in Spain 'on FBI's Orders' – Reports

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A Russian programmer has been arrested in Spain on the orders of U.S. intelligence agencies, the Kremlin-owned RT news outlet reported on Thursday.

Stanislav Lisov was detained in Barcelona airport on Jan. 13 as part of an FBI search for “Russian hackers,” his wife Darya Lisova told the news outlet.

The couple, who live in the southern Russian city of Taganrog, were visiting the country on holiday, she said.

"As soon as we got out of the car, we were approached by two police officers who showed us their badges and told us that my husband was under arrest,” Lisova told RT. “Then they began to check his phone, tablet and laptop."

She said that the officers told her that the arrest had been carried out at the request of the FBI and Interpol.

The 31-year-old has yet to be formally charged. Neither the FBI, Interpol or the U.S. State Department have commented on the arrest, RT reported.

The Russian embassy in Spain confirmed that they had been made aware of the arrest, and had formally requested details on the reasons for Lisov’s arrest.

“The embassy and the Consulate General in Barcelona are in touch with Spanish authorities to protect the interests of our citizen and provide him with any necessary consular assistance," embassy spokesperson Vasily Nioradze told RT.

U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Kremlin-backed hackers of leaking thousands of confidential emails from the U.S. Democratic National Committee in a bid to influence the country’s presidential election.

In a recent poll carried out by American television channel NBC and the Wall Street Journal newspaper, 51 percent of Americans said that they believed that Moscow had carried out the hack. Only 24 percent said that the cyber-attack had influenced the final vote.

The Kremlin denies the allegations.

If FBI involvement is confirmed to be behind Lisov's arrest, it would not be the first time that U.S. authorities have arrested alleged Russian hackers holidaying in Europe. 

In October 2016, Czech police arrested a suspected Russian hacker in the city of Prague. A Czech court will now decide whether to extract him to the United States.

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