High Court Rejects Russian Hacker's Petition Against Extradition to U.S.

The judges also ruled that there were no exceptional circumstances which require intervening in the decision to extradite Aleksey Burkov

Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov at the High Court, November 3, 2019.
Oren Ben Hakoon

Israel's High Court rejected on Sunday the petition of Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov against Justice Minister Amir Ohana's decision to sign his extradition order to the U.S.

Justices Esther Hayut, Yitzhak Amit and Ofer Grosskopf, noted that the court does not intervene in decisions that affect Israel's foreign relations.

The court ruling stated that Burkov's request to be extradited to the United States on condition that he be sentenced in Russia should be rejected. According to the judges' decision, there are no grounds that could require the state to do so. The judges also ruled that there were no exceptional circumstances which called for the court's intervention in the decision.

Burkov's lawyers claimed on Thursday that Israel ignored Russia's official request for three years to extradite him there.

During the hearing on a petition filed against the extradition of Burkov, his lawyers presented a letter of complaint, which they said was sent by Prosecutor general of Russia to Justice Minister Amir Ohana, in which he complained about the lack of reply to the extradition request.

The letter they presented was written on October 14, three days after the verdict was given to Naama Issachar, the Israeli young woman imprisoned in Russia.

Issachar's family also petitioned against the decision to extradite Burkov, but last week they asked the High Court to dismiss their petition. The decision to cancel the petition was taken by Yaffa Issachar, Naama's mother, and a request filed by Issachar's defense attorneys Boaz Ben Tzur and Nati Simhoni stated that "there has been a development in the law, and in matters between Issachar's family and diplomatic agents involved in handling her case."