The basis for the arrest was charged in the United States authorities hacker network attacks on American internet services Amazon, Ebay and others allegedly committed them to the territory of the Russian Federation in 2008-2009 years. Nine months later, it has performed in Cyprus jail, Dmitry Zubakha was to address the Cyprus court extradited to Russia.
We are now asked a lot of questions about how and what happened, how much it cost to get the employee out, etc. Below I tell in detail this history, as it is visible from our side: how we in the company “Ashmanov and Partners” were engaged in the liberation of Dmitry from Cyprus. I try not to overload the story with exact dates and legal language; We have plenty of documents on the case, some of them may be published later.
Dmitry Zubakha came to work at Ashmanov and Partners in January 2012. Prior to that, he 3 month in the fall 2011 worked for us remotely as a freelancer. His duties included the support of our clients' sites, as well as the development of targeted advertising management system modules for A & P clients. Dmitry's head was pleased with him, there were no complaints about the quality of work.
In the employment of the staff of our security, of course, checked teeth on criminal convictions, legal violations and other problems. No Interpol warrant for him was not.
Of course, with the skill of studying social networks and other places of communication in the network during the audit of our hired, our Security Service could find evidence that Zubakha was involved in some kind of hacker business - Dmitry had a lot of conversations on these topics on the network in special forums, boasted about his exploits etc. But for this, our security service needed to display a rather developed and rare for security officers ability to analyze the social environment on the Internet, including closed hacker forums. This was not done.
As it turned out, the requirement to arrest allegedly came to Cyprus more 05.04.2010. However, very strange that an ad to Moscow Dmitry internationally wanted never came. Interpol warrant issued for it was not. In the Interpol database, he did not appear and did not appear.
He was arrested in Cyprus "by fax". But more about this below.
Strange coincidence: office thieves
Spring 2012 AIP to a new office on the second floor in the office center street Makeev had three penetration office thieves. We have not yet been installed card readers on the doors and could relatively easily be attached to the tail of the group of smokers returning or coming from the lunch staff. The company employs over 200 people, so our guards at the entrance to our floor, as it turned out, the person does not know to all. We in the office area 2000 square meters, so that penetrated inside, you can have a relatively free navigirovat the premises, smiling and bowing.
The first thief (the young man in a great suit and shining boots, showing a seller or marketer) in mid-March 2012 snuck into my private office on the other side, where we sit developers. I noticed from a distance from the corridor as he walked into my office, went to see and caught him as he fumbled under my desk in my portfolio. I handed him his bezopasnik, those called the police to 4 morning I wrote the application, participated in the confrontations, the entire cabinet filled me fingerprint powder, etc. The thief already, as it turned out, was an all-Russia wanted in another case.
What he needed in my office (money, information or anything else) is unknown. I lost nothing (when I found him, he "dropped" everything he could take). He fully admitted his guilt in the attempted theft and asked for the case to be tried in a special manner.
The second thief (in April, 2012) was more successful - he slipped on the other side of the A & P where the salesmen were sitting, and stole a laptop and a tablet from the tables in the "cubicles". We reimbursed the owners of the stolen devices their cost, because it was the obvious fault of our company and its Security Council.
The third thief in May 2012 pushed from the reception in the same door to the sellers, but there was already installed the card lock, log failed and he jumped back onto the landing. But he did not flinch from this setback and through 10 minutes stole a laptop on the floor 7 as we then said security of the building, come to us for records with our cameras.
Why do I mention here these cases of seemingly banal office theft? Because the stolen laptop belonged to Dmitry Zubakha. Two months after the disappearance of the laptop, Zubach was arrested in Cyprus. It seems to me personally that this may not be a coincidence. Perhaps, Dmitry "grazed" already in advance.
Holidays and arrest
In July 2012 Dmitry Zubakha flew to Cyprus for a vacation with his common-law wife Maria.
Upon arrival in Cyprus in July 18 2012 Dmitry was arrested at the airport. Grounds for arrest, as it turned out, was the telegram (fax), sent from the American branch of Interpol, sent just a couple of hours before arrival at the airport of Paphos teeth. Apparently, Americans watched the ticket reservation system or by the teeth.
Мы об аресте Дмитрия узнали из прессы. Дальше мы наняли международную юридическую компанию FGM Solicitors & International Lawyers, которая начала заниматься его освобождением.
Why do we "fit" in this case
Dmitry has worked with us a little over half a year, to become a key collaborator did not, doing pretty peripheral tasks. The story of the attacks on Amazon and other sites, in which he was charged occurred in 2008-2009 years, that is, three years before his arrival in the AIP, and we did not have a relationship.
Of course, in this sense, he set us up with this story - he created a bad PR, dropped out of the production process, etc. Of course, he himself was to blame for everything - he closely communicated with the hacker party and boasted a lot in the forums.
Therefore, the first, reflex reaction of some managers of the company (especially in marketing / PR) was to get rid of this case to the maximum. Reduce the damage to the image and all that.
I, however, gave the command, on the contrary, to “fit in” to the maximum. Why?
Firstly, we are the employer, and it is our staff. In other difficult circumstances (illness, death of relatives, other personal problems) we always help employees. It is understood that the arrest on foreign soil knocks man out of all the usual connections and household structures and makes it completely helpless. The average Russian can not afford foreign lawyers. A right to counsel in this case becomes one of the most important, without a lawyer you - a bug.
Secondly, Zubakha is our compatriot. I personally (and the company as a whole) do not like that the Americans consider the whole world to be their territory and jurisdiction, that they seize our citizens anywhere and judge themselves for violating American laws. Even if he is really guilty of something, we ourselves should judge him according to our laws (as the Americans themselves do with their compatriots).
Third, this particular arrest and extradition application in the United States looked (and now it got its legal confirmation) illegal, because the procedure of detention, applied by the Americans, and This absence of the Russian authorities that Dmitry teeth searching authorities of the USA, were a clear violation of international practices (in particular, to inform all members of Interpol).
As far as we can now judge on the basis of the study of all aspects of the case, the Americans on the teeth actually was not, and now there is no evidence, other than his own statements on hacker forums.
Fourth, we had to do to figure out what to do and how to act in such cases. If Americans in general now make the invasion of alien jurisdiction and the seizure of foreign citizens who have something they liked, in his usual way to act - we need to be able to deal with it. Zubakha was a beginner and have not the key employee, yes. But we have plenty of keywords. They go on holidays and trips abroad. They need to be able to defend.
С 2007 года мы постоянно работаем с московским и английским адвокатом Тимофеем Мусатовым и его командой, а именно международной юридической компанией FGM Solicitors & International Lawyers.
They were engaged on our side in the conflict of shareholders of Kaspersky Lab, led a deal to sell its stake my wife Natalya Kaspersky Kaspersky Lab.
They also had great help in unraveling the case involving the abduction of the son of Natalia Ivan Kaspersky.
Timothy Musatov - great criminal and corporate lawyer, and his team has extensive experience in different jurisdictions. They have offices in Moscow, London and Nicosia. Therefore, in this case, I turned to him.
Americans: the pressure
The Americans arrested Zubach with Cypriot hands on the basis of the “Red Notice”, which is a well-known procedure of international search and the transfer of requests for extradition to wanted persons, but this operation was conducted with violations. In general, the Americans worked in this case in a cowboy style and at first did not really care about the legality of their actions. Dmitry spent the first 11 days in prison without any legal grounds at all - in fact, on the basis of a fax.
Then finally arrived documents the grounds for detention. The basis was the decision of a private meeting of the American court's arrest in absentia teeth released and secretive in 2009 year.
After that in Cyprus in August 2012 appeared four members of the American intelligence services, who came "for Zubaha." Officially, two from the American Interpol, two from the Prosecutor General’s Office, although we have certain doubts that this is indeed the case (since they were very interested in Dmitry’s hacker skills and his further use for the benefit of the United States).
About this format and they stayed there the last six months. As we reported informally, they said Cypriot authorities that without teeth they did not leave. In fact, Cyprus is not a bad place to enforce the law to escape the harsh and break from the routine at home.
As far as we know, the Americans with all their might used an administrative lever: they constantly pressed on the Ministry of Justice, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Cyprus, on the court. In general, it seems that Americans consider all countries with English language and English law to be their patrimony, and this is not far from the truth - they are on average afraid of them, respected and obeyed.
We know that as early as August 2012 they are breaking the law, without notice to counsel and orders of the court were held in the prison, right in the teeth of the camera, and inspired Dmitri, that he urgently needs to agree to the extradition to the United States, getting there a short time, during which time obtain a residence permit and continue to work on the United States government.
"You do not forget your tools and connections, they will be useful to us here," they said to Zubach. In addition, during these 9 months at least some of Dmitri's cellmates were Russian-speaking and looked like decoy ducks. They also persuaded him to accept extradition and go to the United States.
In fact, in my opinion, the absentee accusation, arrest and extradition is such an American way to fill Russian hackers with vacancies in cyber warheads of the United States, which the Pentagon announced last summer.
The basic outline
Zubakha was placed in a double chamber without air conditioning. The first two months it was very hot. Walking permitted once a day, read books is not allowed. We had to just sit.
Since the fall of 2012, almost weekly sessions of the extradition court in the USA have begun.
It should be understood that the court of extradition does not consider the charges on the merits (were there any attacks, was the suspect guilty). The court considers only the question of whether there are formal legal grounds for extradition - assuming that they will essentially be judged on the spot.
And at first we thought that it will end quickly: Dmitry quickly enough will be given in the United States because it is a purely formal, and even paper-the Americans prepare.
Our lawyers have developed a defense strategy based on the understanding that today the American State Department has in the world and especially in Cyprus is much stronger position than the Russian diplomacy. The beginning of a strong team of specialists from different countries: America, Cyprus, Russia, England, established contacts with the Russian diplomatic mission in Cyprus, carefully studied the materials received from the United States lifted all information relating to this case.
Practically, their own case investigation was carried out. And to our surprise, it turned out that the extradition documents submitted by the US Attorney General’s Office raise a lot of questions. We had a steady impression that they were simply “drawn”, and very much in a hurry.
For example, the documents did not meet their purpose: in particular, in the request for extradition Dmitry was charged with an act (network attack), which in principle is not a crime under the laws of Cyprus - that is, in general did not give grounds for extradition.
These circumstances were brought by our lawyers to court. The Americans understood that they were failing the case, and with such an accusation they would not receive Zubakh. Therefore, at the end of August 2012, they suddenly completely replaced the charge, removed the flaws and drove it under the laws of Cyprus. In particular, they added a “computer hacking”, which is already a crime under the laws of Cyprus.
When our position was presented to the court, the Americans realized that the victory will not be easy, and it then went to the prison to the teeth, to persuade him to voluntarily agree to the extradition. Dmitry refused.
In general, Americans first counted simply on their own authority and pressure. Prikriknem, we will issue and nobody wants a hacker who are to blame and has no support. Recent practice on extradition of Russian citizens around the world shows that usually is what happens. However, this time we managed to create a viscosity resistance. There were more 20 court proceedings in the case.
We were denied twice the change in the measure of restraint (release on bail and on his own recognizance) - arguing that Zubakha could escape with the help of Russia (perhaps such fears arose after a well-known story about the disappearance of the espionage group in Cyprus in 2010) Anna Chapman).
It was clear that sooner or later the court will still take a positive decision on extradition to the United States, since the documents for the extradition will eventually be fitted under the laws of Cyprus and other obstacles at the hearing on extradition is not. Our main task in this case was to create viscosity and legal red tape.
Only in January 2013 Cypriot court with clear legal stretch, under pressure from the Americans, despite all the legal flaws, not taking into account the applicant's lawyer on the illegality of the arrest and detention, still decided to issue Dmitry teeth in the United States. It is clear that Americans are all the time working, creating pressure, did not get out of the courts and prosecutors.
Our lawyers, of course, filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of Cyprus.
At this time in Russia and Cyprus, Russian diplomats and organs of law and order also worked on the case mouth. There were constant consultation with the Prosecutor General Ministry of Justice and Cyprus.
At the end of 2012 Prosecutor General's Office filed a Justice of Cyprus extradition request Dmitry teeth in the Russian Federation. Quite a long time the request remained suspended between the Ministry of Justice and Geprokuraturoy Cyprus, without falling into the court. Finally in December 2012 case have set in motion.
Began another, parallel trial in which the Americans were no longer able to participate, as a party to the process.
As a result, quite quickly, already in March of 2013, the Cypriot court decided to extradite Dmitry Zubakhi to the Russian Federation. Since Dmitry officially in the courtroom confirmed his agreement with the extradition, there was no one to appeal this decision, and the court’s decision became final.
The decision on extradition to the United States, Dmitry has not entered into force due to the ongoing hearings on complaints and appeals.
State aid to
It is obvious that this kind of business can not be successful without the help of a serious home state. Be sure to assist Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, General Prosecutor's Office, the highest officials of the state. We are unable to find a good contact, understanding and get real help.
The Russian Embassy in Cyprus, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow rather densely worked on the case mouth. Great help for the Administration of the President provided and the General Prosecutor's Office.
Suffice it to say that, as far as I know, in the negotiations with Cyprus in November for a loan in 5 billion exemption teeth as mentioned (probably on the eighteenth or twenty-eighth place, but nonetheless). It is understood that the loan did not agree for very different reasons, but it is nevertheless significant.
Society also helped: the Citizens' Union of Russia Nikolai Starikova picketed in front of embassies and flash mobs in support of the teeth, drew attention to the issue in the media and on the Internet.
The names of officers and authorized persons responsible for our success, I will not call, but all the real actors themselves are well aware of the important role they have played, a great thank you to them for that.
In this case, the main motive of all actions of officials was to protect our Russian citizens, which is extremely important, in my opinion. Times are changing.
We spent on this thing about 9 months and quite a lot of money, hundreds of thousands of euros. Constantly working on the case 4-5 lawyers in London, Moscow and Cyprus. Required substantial assistance of the Russian state, and it was provided. It is clear that relatives Dmitry constantly flew to Cyprus and had given him moral support.
As a result of the common efforts Dmitry Friday evening, April 12 2013 returned home.
He is now, of course, have to deal with the existing claims are to him by the police (in the second case for extradition), what is it again to help our lawyers. Not because we love to protect the offense hackers, but because everyone should have the right to protection. I think that everything will be fine.
For us, this turned out to be an invaluable experience of effectively protecting our citizens abroad, the experience of searching for allies and uniting like-minded people. I think all of us were very helpful.