Rus­sian ac­cused of hack­ing seeks new de­ten­tion

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

SEAT­TLE (AP) — Lawyers for the Rus­sian man charged with hack­ing into the com­puter sys­tems of busi­nesses through­out the U.S. have asked a fed­eral judge in Seat­tle to hold a hear­ing as soon as pos­si­ble so they can make their case for mov­ing Ro­man Seleznev out of a Spe­cial Hous­ing Unit.

Seleznev’s place­ment in the unit, where he is iso­lated, can’t make phone calls or con­nect with other pris­on­ers, also re­stricts his abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate with his de­fense team and pre­pare for his trial, the lawyers said. They said they haven’t been able to meet with Seleznev face-to-face and must speak to him through a thick glass wall and with a mi­cro­phone that fre­quently cuts out.

Seleznev was ar­rested in July on 29 counts rang­ing from bank fraud to hack­ing to iden­tity theft. He pleaded not guilty. The Rus­sian For­eign Min­istry has ac­cused the U.S. gov­ern­ment of kid­nap­ping Seleznev.

On Aug. 15, U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge James Dono­hue or­dered Seleznev de­tained pend­ing trial, ar­gu­ing he is a flight risk. The Bureau of Prisons placed him in the spe­cial unit be­cause he’s a “high-pro­file case,” ac­cord­ing to As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Seth Wilkin­son. Seleznev’s lawyers chal­lenged that po­si­tion, say­ing it was not an ad­e­quate rea­son to iso­late him.

The judge said it was not his “prac­tice to mi­cro­man­age” the prison.

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