Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Knesset
MK Amir Ohana

Justice Minister Amir Ohana announced on Wednesday night that he had signed the order to extradite Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov to the United States, where he is wanted on suspicion of serious cyber crimes, including theft of millions of dollars from credit cards and accounts belonging to American citizens.

Both a district court and Israel’s Supreme Court have upheld the extradition.

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According to the justice ministry, the decision was made after many in-depth discussions with various parties in recent weeks, including political and legal officials.

Burkov intends to petition the High Court of Justice (a unique Israeli feature where a petition does not have to go through the court system before it is heard) to revoke justice minister’s order.

The decision effectively abandons Naama Issachar, 25, an Israeli-American tourist visiting Russia, who was convicted of smuggling 9.6 grams of hashish and sentenced by a Russian court to seven and a half years in prison. The Russians were hoping to swap Issachar for Burkov – now Minister Ohana gave the final Nyet on the matter.

Naama Issachar’s attorney said he was “sad about the decision to sign Alexey Burkov’s extradition order to the US, since it dooms Na’ama’s fate and violate her rights.”

“We intend to act swiftly to file a petition with the High Court and hope based on the foundation of law and justice that the decision will not be upheld.”

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