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Lawyers calling for Russian hacker's release

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Attorneys for accused Russian hacker Roman Seleznev have filed a motion in the District Court of Guam seeking his immediate release and termination of his case altogether based on what they call "outrageous governmental misconduct".

It's a story you'd think you'd only watch in the movies - but it's a real life drama unfolding on Guam. The US Secret Service describes Seleznev as one of the world's most prolific traffickers of stolen information. He's accused of hacking into point of sales systems worldwide and stealing credit card numbers. Some of the banks he's accused of defrauding include Chase Bank, Capital One and Citibank. Seleznev was indicted three years ago in the state of Washington on multiple counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Earlier this month the feds sent out media releases announcing his capture. A media release from the US Attorney's Office in Guam said he had been arrested in Guam on July 6th. Seleznev's attorney Patrick Civille however says that could not be further and has filed a motion in the District Court to have his client not only released but the charges against him terminated. Attorney Civille goes so far as accusing the feds of kidnapping Seleznev while he was in the Maldives. Seleznev in his declaration says he was on vacation with his girlfriend and her 4 year old daughter. When they were leaving the airport he claims he was directed to a side inspection area where he was eventually separated from his family. He alleges three Americans, he had not seen before, rushed behind him and threw him to a couch.  He said one of the Americans yelled at him and told him he was under arrest. As he was handcuffed Seleznev says he asked for legal counsel and consular assistance but none was provided. He added that the American agents did not ask permission and was never shown a warrant but began searching through their luggage. Seleznev says he was eventually led by the American agents to an unmarked jet where he was forced to board. It was during the flight he was shown his Miranda Rights.  When they landed in Guam he says he was immediately placed in jail. Attorney Civille argues the case should be terminated for "outrageous governmental misconduct". He also alleges Seleznev was illegally taken into US custody and in a "manner contrary to law". He adds that US law enforcement agents have no power to execute an arrest warrant outside the United States absent express statutory authority. He wrote that Seleznev was lawfully present in the Maldives which had not filed any criminal charges against him and had not ordered his arrest under Maldives law.

Seleznev was supposed to appear in court today on a petition for removal, however in light of the motion District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood postponed the hearing until she determines whether she has jurisdiction over the case.  She also gave the US Attorney's Office until 5pm today to file their response to Civille's motion.

In their response Assistant US Attorney Marivic David asserts the only issue before the judge is to determine Seleznev's identity and whether he is in fact the individual named in the indictment. David says all the other issues that are being raised should be decided in the district where the indictment is pending and in this case in the Western District of Washington. The US Attorney's Office is requesting that the court not only strike Selenev's motion but to also reschedule the identity hearing as soon as possible.

For now Seleznev remains at the Mangilao compound. As we reported he was moved from the Hagatna Detention Facility to a cell in the infirmary.

Seleznev is running out of his medication for a brain injury he suffered several years ago in a terrorist attack.

Because Guam does not carry Seleznev's prescription medication he was given an alternative and has been under observation.

DOC director Jose San Agustin said, "All his medical needs are being met. With regards to the medication issue that was a concern about a week ago, I just want to reiterate that the change of medication while it was mentioned it was a change, the medication provided to him - the ingredients and contents are the same."

San Agustin confirms that prison medical director Dr. Raja Saad checks with Seleznev daily.

As for living conditions, San Agustin says Seleznev is the only occupant in a two-man cell.
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