Russian arrested in Israel accused of breaking into computer databases

Alexei Burkov was arrested in Israel at the request of the U.S. authorities

Russian citizen Alexei Burkov, who was arrested in Israel at the request of the U.S. authorities, is accused of crimes in the sphere of cybersecurity, the Russian embassy in Israel said.

"The accusations are connected with the breaking into computer databases," Ruslan Kandaurov, the head of the consular section of the Russian embassy in Israel, told Interfax.

He also confirmed that a hearing of the case involving Burkov's extradition to the U.S. took place in Israel on Dec. 27.

"The hearing was held behind closed doors, but Russian diplomats were present there," the diplomat said.

The issue of the Russian's extradition has been postponed at least until January 21, when the next court hearing of the case is scheduled to be held, Kandaurov said.

According to earlier reports, officials from the Russian consulate in Israel visited Burkov, who was previously arrested at the request of the U.S., on December 25.

"Our diplomats visited Burkov, he is fine. We maintain constant contact with his lawyer. A court hearing will be held in the next few days, where officials from our consulate will be present," Kandaurov told Interfax on Friday.

He confirmed that Burkov was detained by Israeli officials at the Ben Gurion Airport at passport control on December 13.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously demanded that the Israeli authorities grant Russian diplomats access to Burkov. "we condemn this case of exterritorial use of the U.S. legislation on a citizen of the Russian Federation. This categorically unacceptable practice has already become chronic," Russian Foreign Ministry human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said in a commentary posted on the Foreign Ministry website.

He said Moscow is also hoping that "the Israeli authorities will prevent the extradition of Alexei Burkov to the U.S., were he, like many other Russian citizens, would surely face a politicized ad biased trial."

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