Court OKs Extradition of Russian Hacker Levashov to U.S.

MOSCOW (AP) -

Spain’s National Court has decided to extradite a suspected Russian hacker to the United States.

Pyotr Levashov, a 37-year-old, known as one of the world’s most notorious hackers, was arrested earlier this year while vacationing with his family in Barcelona. U.S. authorities had requested his arrest, for they want him on fraud charges and unauthorized interception of electronic communications.

The Spanish court said Tuesday that the U.S. extradition request has been approved. Russia in September filed a counter-extradition request for Levashov hours before the original extradition hearing.

Authorities in the U.S. have linked Levashov to a series of powerful botnets, or networks of hijacked computers capable of pumping out billions of spam emails.

Levashov’s lawyers have alleged his arrest was politically motivated and argued that he should be tried in Spain.