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Kazakhstan Rebuffs U.S. Extradition Request for Russian Cybersecurity Expert

Nikita Kislitsin. Dmitry Lebedev / Commersant

Authorities in Kazakhstan have approved Moscow’s request to extradite a Russian cybersecurity expert wanted by the FBI, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday, citing Artyom Oganov, an official at the Russian consulate in Almaty.

Nikita Kislitsin, a department head at Russian cybersecurity firm F.A.C.C.T., was detained by Kazakh law enforcement on June 22 following an extradition request by Washington.

U.S. authorities have accused Kislitsin of buying personal data obtained through the 2012 hack of Formspring, a now-defunct social media site.

Meanwhile, Moscow opened a criminal case against Kilitsin on similar charges.

In late June, a Russian court arrested him in absentia and filed its own request to Kazakhstan for his extradition.

"Kazakhstan refused the American request and agreed to the Russian request," Oganov told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

The case is the latest court battle between Moscow and Washington for accused Russian criminals detained at the request of U.S. authorities in third countries. 

Last week, a court in Brazil denied requests by both the U.S. and Russia to extradite an accused Russian spy posing as a Brazilian citizen.

Kislitsin's employer, F.A.C.C.T., was previously known as Group-IB. A Russian court sentenced Group-IB cofounder Ilya Sachkov to 14 years in prison last week on treason charges.

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