Karim Baratov, alleged Yahoo hacker, to be handed over to U.S. marshals
Karim Baratov, the 22-year-old charged in connection with an American probe into a Yahoo hacking operation, has waived an extradition hearing and will soon head to the U.S. in the custody of U.S. marshals.
His lawyer, Amadeo DiCarlo, said waiving the hearing was the “quickest route into the U.S.” and that today’s court appearance would be Baratov’s last in Canada.
“We’re anxious to get him down there,” he said prior to the appearance in Hamilton court Friday.
“The court order is already in place to have the marshals come up to pick up Karim.”
DiCarlo said that could happen as early as today, but likely within two weeks.
“Today is only to address the judge and indicate our decision, and I think that will be the last of the process here in Canada.”
The decision to waive the extradition hearing speeds up his opportunity to address the charges.
In court, Baratov smiled as he talked quietly with DiCarlo. He signed a waiver regarding his extradition rights in the judge’s presence.
With that, Justice Andrew Goodman ordered Baratov transferred to U.S. custody.
“Good luck, Mr. Baratov,” he said. “Thank you,” Baratov said.
U.S. authorities allege Baratov, from suburban Ancaster, Ont., was a “hacker for hire” with Russian ties. But Canada has to surrender Baratov to the U.S. for him to face charges there.
‘Let’s get some lawyers and let’s move on with this’
Baratov just wants to go deal with the charges in the U.S. as quickly as possible, DiCarlo said.
“Go there, finish it there, let’s get some lawyers and let’s move on with this,” DiCarlo told CBC News last Friday. “Keeping him here, I think, is just going to waste more time.”
Baratov was arrested March 14 in Hamilton under the Extradition Act after U.S. authorities indicted him and three others for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.
Baratov has been held without bail since his arrest after an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled in April that he was too much of a flight risk to be released prior to an extradition hearing.
Yahoo said last September that information from at least 500 million user accounts had been stolen in a cyberattack two years earlier. Baratov is accused of hacking 80 Yahoo accounts, and if convicted, faces 20 years in a U.S. prison.
The U.S. also charged two Russian intelligence officers and a fourth man.
Baratov’s lawyers have said their client had no idea who he was dealing with, or exactly what he was doing.
The FBI documents submitted to secure his arrest in Canada paint a false picture, DiCarlo said.