The Latest: Russian says he thought arrest was abduction

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2015 6:59 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — The latest on a hearing for a Russian man charged with hacking into U.S. businesses (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

An expert on Maldavian law testified that last year's arrest of a Russian man by U.S. agents was unlawful and violated the country's constitution.

Lawyers for Roman Seleznev, who is charged with hacking into U.S. businesses, called Hussain Shameem to describe the conditions needed for a lawful arrest.

Shameem is a former prosecutor who has trained Maldavian police. He said a person in the Maldives can only be arrested under one of three circumstances: the person is seen committing a crime, is seen fleeing a crime or if police have a court warrant for the arrest.

He says that's the case for anyone in the Maldives, citizen or not.

Shameem said that because the Maldavian police who helped U.S. agents detain Seleznev did not get a warrant or take him before a judge, the arrest was unlawful. He said the search of Seleznev's luggage without a warrant also violated his rights.

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12:50 p.m.

A Russian man charged with hacking into U.S. businesses has testified that he thought he was being kidnapped when three federal agents put him in handcuffs at a Maldives airport and led him from the building.

Roman Seleznev said Friday that an agent shoved him into a room last year and told him he was under arrest. Seleznev says he asked to see a lawyer and call the Russian embassy, but the agents refused.

The three agents with the Secret Service and State Department told a different story in testimony over the past two days.

They say the Maldivian police took Seleznev into custody and the agents told him about the indictment before taking him to a chartered airplane. The agents say Seleznev never asked for a lawyer or the Russian consulate.

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9:20 a.m.

Federal agents who took a Russian hacking suspect into custody at a Maldives airport have testified that they treated him well and that he didn't ask to talk to a lawyer or the consulate.

Roman Seleznev tells a different story. He's scheduled to take the stand Friday to describe what he calls a traumatic arrest last year.

In a written statement to the court, Seleznev said agents screamed at him and pushed him around. He also says he repeatedly asked for a lawyer and for the agents to contact the Russian embassy.

His lawyers say the arrest violated Maldivian law and his charges should be dismissed.

Prosecutors say Seleznev hacked into the computer systems of U.S. restaurants and other businesses and stole about 2 million credit card numbers that he later sold.