Saving Private teeth. Protection of Russian citizens abroad

8 July 2012 twenty-five Moscow programmer Dmitry teeth employee of our company, "Ashmanov and partners", was arrested in the arrivals hall at the airport of Paphos in Cyprus.
The reason for the arrest was a charge of U.S. authorities for hacking network
 attacks on U.S. internet services Amazon, Ebay and others allegedly committed from the territory of the Russian Federation in 2008-2009. After nine months he spent in prison, Cyprus, Dmitry Zubakha was to solve the Cyprus court extradited to Russia.


We now have so many questions about how and what happened, what the employee has managed to pull out, etc. Below I will tell this story in detail, as seen from our side: we are in the company "Ashmanov and partners" involved in the release of Dmitry from Cyprus. I try not to overload the story exact dates and legal language, documents in the case have mass, some of them, we may then be issued.


Dmitry Zubakha came to work in the "Ashmanov and partners" in January 2012. Prior to that, he three months in fall 2011 worked for us remotely as a freelancer. His duty was to support our clients' sites, as well as the development of modules management system targeted advertising to customers AIP. Head Dmitry was happy with it, complaints about the quality of the work was not.

In the employment of the staff of our security, of course, checked his teeth on criminal records, legal violations and other problems. No Interpol warrant for him was not.

Of course, with the skill of research on social networks and other sites in the network communication during check our Security hired could find evidence that Zubakha involved in some hacking cases — Dmitry talked a lot about these issues in a network of special forums, boasted of his exploits etc. But for that our security service had developed quite a show and a rare ability to bezopasnikov analysis of the social environment on the Internet, including closed hacker forums. This was not done.

As it turned out, the requirement to detain allegedly came to Cyprus more 05.04.2010. However, a very strange thing is that before the announcement of Moscow Dmitry international arrest warrant it 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 on that below.

Strange coincidence: office thieves

In the spring of 2012 to the new AIP office on the second floor of the office center street Makeev had three penetration office thieves. We have not yet been installed card readers on doors and could relatively easily be attached to the tail of a group of smokers returning or coming from lunch employees. The company employs over 200 people, so our guard at the entrance to our floor, as it turned out, a person does not know all. We in the office area of 2000 square meters, so that penetrated inside, you can have relatively freely navigirovat the premises, smiling and bowing.

The first thief (the young man in a great suit and shiny shoes, representing the 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 him and caught when he fumbled under my desk in my portfolio. I handed him his bezopasnikam, they called the police, until 4 in the morning I wrote the statement, took part in the confrontations, I filled the entire cabinet fingerprint powder, etc. The thief already, as it turned out, was an all-Russia wanted in another case.

What he needed was in my office (money, information, or what else) — is unknown. I have not lost anything (when I found him, he "threw" all I could take). He fully admitted his guilt in the attempted theft of the case and asked for a special order.

The second thief (in April 2012) was more successful — he slipped on the other side of the AIP, where sit the vendors, and employees had stolen from the tables in the "kubiklah" laptop and tablet. We reimburse the owners of stolen devices their cost, because it was an obvious fault of our company and the Security Council.

The third thief in May 2012 pushed from the reception at the same door to the sellers, but there has already been installed card lock, enter failed and he ran back to the landing. But he did not flinch from this setback and 10 minutes later stole the laptop on the 7th floor, we are then told security of the building, come to us for records with our cameras.

Why do I mention these cases there seems to be a banal office theft? Becausestolen laptop belonged to Dmitry teeth. Two months after the loss of a laptop Zubakha was arrested in Cyprus. I personally think that this can not be a coincidence. Perhaps Dmitri "grazed" in advance.

Holiday and arrest

In July 2012 Dmitry Zubakha flew to Cyprus for a vacation with his common-law wife Maria.

Upon arrival in Cyprus July 18, 2012, Dmitry was arrested at the airport. The reason for the arrest, as it turned out, was the telegram (fax), sent from the American branch of Interpol, sent in just a few hours before the arrival of the teeth at the airport of Paphos. Apparently, Americans watched the ticket reservation system or by the teeth.

We learned about the arrest of Dmitry from the press. Then we hired an international law firm FGM Solicitors &International Lawyers, who started practicing his release.

Why do we "fit" in this case

Dmitry has worked with us a little over half a year to become a key employee did not have time, was engaged in a rather peripheral tasks. The story of the attacks on Amazon and other sites in which he was charged occurred in 2008-2009, that is, three years before his arrival in the AIP, and the relationship we had.

The story he is certainly in a sense, set us up — created bad PR, dropped out of the production process, etc. Of course, he himself was to blame — in close contact with the hacker scene and the many boasted in the forums.

Therefore, the first reflex reaction by some managers (especially in the marketing / PR) was — the maximum distance itself from this case. Minimize the damage to the image and so on.

I, however, gave the command, on the contrary, to the maximum "fit". Why?

First, we are the employer, and it is our staff. In other difficult circumstances (illness, death of family members, and other personal problems) we always help employees. It is understood that the arrest on foreign soil knocks people out of all the usual connections and household structures and renders it totally helpless. The average Russian can not afford to foreign lawyers. A right to counsel in this case is one of the most important, without a lawyer you — bug.

Second, Zubakha — our countryman. I personally (and companies in general) do not like the fact that Americans think the whole world is their territory and jurisdiction, that they grab our citizens anywhere and at trial for violation of U.S. laws. Even if he is really guilty of something, it must judge ourselves by our laws (as, indeed, come themselves with their fellow Americans).

Third, this particular statement about the arrest and extradition to the United States looked (and now it got its legal confirmation) illegal because the arrest procedure, applied by the Americans, and the Russian authorities' This absence of what Dmytro teeth sought by U.S. authorities to have been a clear violation of int
ernational practices (in particular, to inform all members of Interpol).

As far as we can now judge on the basis of studies 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 need to do to figure out what to do and how to act in such cases. If Americans in general are now making the invasion of foreign jurisdiction and the seizure of foreign nationals that they liked something, to act in his usual way — we need to be able to deal with it. Zubakha was new to us and 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.

Our attorneys

Since 2007, we are constantly working with Moscow and the English lawyer Timothy Musatov and his team, namely the international law firm 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 Lab Kaspersky.

They also had great help in unraveling the case involving the kidnapping of the son of Ivan the Natalya 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: pressuree

Americans arrested teeth hands Cypriots on the basis of a "red notice" (Red Notice), which is a well-known procedure of international investigation and transmit requests for extradition of wanted persons, but the operation was carried out with violations. In general, Americans have worked in this case, cowboy style, and at first did not much care about the legality of their actions. The first 11 days Dmitri spent in prison without any sufficient legal grounds — in fact, on the basis of a fax.

Then finally came the documents to the grounds for detention. The reason was the decision of a private meeting of the American court arrest in absentia teeth and secretive released in 2009.

After that, in Cyprus in August 2012 there were four employees of the American security services, making for "teeth." Officially — two from the U.S. Interpol, two — of the Prosecutor General's Office, although we have some doubts that this is indeed the case (because they are very interested in it and hacking skills Dmitry its continued use for the benefit of the United States).

Around this composition, and they stayed there for the last six months. As we reported unofficially, they said the authorities of Cyprus, without teeth, they did not leave. In fact, Cyprus is not a bad place to stern guardians of the law aside and take a break from the routine at home.

As far as we know, Americans are used administrative arm: continuously pressured the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor General of Cyprus, on the court. In general, it seems, Americans consider their ancestral lands by the countries in the English language and English law, and it is far from the truth — they are on average fear, respect and obey.

We know that in August 2012 they were breaking the law, without notice to counsel and the court orders were in jail, right in the teeth of the camera, and inspired Dmitri that he urgently needs to agree to the extradition to the U.S., getting there a short time, during which time obtain a residence permit to continue to work for the U.S. government.

"You do not forget your tools and links, they will be useful to you from us", they said teeth. In addition, for the 9 months at least some inmates were Russian-speaking and Dmitri looked like stool pigeons. They also tried to persuade him to accept the grant and go to the United States.

In fact, in my view, part-time charge, arrest and extradition — is a way to fill the American Russian hackers kibervoyskah jobs in the United States, the creation of which just last summer, the Pentagon announced.

The basic outline

Zubakha was placed in a two-seat chamber, no air conditioning. The first two months it was very hot. Walking permitted once a day, reading books is not allowed. You had to just sit there.
Since the autumn of 2012 began almost weekly sessions court to issue in the United States.

We must understand thatthe court does not consider an extradition charge on the merits(If there were an attack, whether the suspect is guilty). The court shall consider only the question whether there is a formal legal basis for extradition — suggesting that essentially will be judged on the spot.

And at first it seemed to us that the case will end quickly: Dmitry quickly be given to the United States because it is a matter purely formal, and even paper-that prepare Americans. Our attorneys have developed a defense strategy based on an understanding that to date the U.S. State Department has in the world and even more so in Cyprus is much stronger position than the Russian diplomacy. She joined a strong team of experts 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.

Almost conducted its own investigation of the case. And to our surprise, it turned out that the documents submitted by the U.S. Attorney General's Office to issue causes a lot of questions. We arose the impression that they are simply "painted", and moreover, a very hurry.
For example, the documents did not meet its goal: in particular, in the request for extradition Dmitry incriminated act (attack), which in principle is not a crime under the laws of Cyprus — that is, do not give grounds for extradition.

These facts have been brought to court by our lawyers. Americans realized that fail the business, and with such an accusation, they will not get the teeth. Therefore, at the end of August 2012, they suddenly have completely replaced the charge removed blemishes and drove it under the laws of Cyprus. In particular, added a "computer hacking", which is already an offense 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 are first calculated simply on his authority and pressure. Prikriknem, and will give us no use to anyone hacker who to blame and has no support. Recent practice of issuing Russian citizens around the world shows that usually the case. However, this time we managed to create a viscosity resistance. There were more than 20 hearings on the case.

We twice refused to change the measure of restraint (bail and on parole) — arguing that Zubakha can escape through Russia (perhaps such fears emerged after the disappearance of the well-known stories in 2010 in Cyprus person involved in the "spy ring" 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 extradition in the end they adjust to the laws of Cyprus and other obstacles in the extradition hearing is not. Our main objective in this case was to create viscosity and legal red tape.

Only in January 2013 Cyprus court, with clear legal exaggeration, under pressure from the Americans, despite all the legal flaws, not taking into account the complaints lawyers wrongful arrest and detention, yet made a decision on the issuance of Dmitry teeth in the United States. It is clear that the Americans were working, creating pressure, do not get
out of the courts and prosecutors.

Our lawyers are, of course, have filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of Cyprus.

At this time in Russia and Cyprus, Russian diplomats and law and order authorities also engaged in business teeth. There were constant consultation with the Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Justice of Cyprus.

At the end of 2012, the General Prosecutor's Office has filed in the Ministry of Justice of Cyprus extradition request to the Russian Federation Dmitry teeth. For a long time this request remained hovering between the Ministry of Justice and Geprokuraturoy Cyprus, not getting to court. Finally in December 2012 gave the cause of stroke.
Began another, parallel trial in which the Americans could not participate, as a party to the process.

As a result, quite quickly, in March 2013, the Cypriot court decided to grant to the Russian Federation Dmitry teeth. As Dmitry officially in the courtroom has consented to the issuance, appeal against this decision was no one to serve, and the judgment became final.

In this case, the decision to grant Dmitry in the U.S. has not entered into force due to the ongoing hearings on complaints and appeals.

The state aid

It is obvious that cases of this kind can not be successful without serious help his native state. Be sure to promote the Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor General, the highest officials of the state. We are unable to find a good contact, understanding, and get real help.
The Russian Embassy in Cyprus, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow doing pretty tight affair between his teeth. Great help for the Administration of the President and assisted the General Prosecutor's Office.

Suffice it to say that, as far as I know, negotiations with Cyprus in November for a loan of $ 5 billion in the liberation of the teeth is also mentioned (probably on the eighteenth or twenty-eighth place, but nonetheless). It is understood that the loan did not agree for other reasons, but it is nevertheless significant.

The Company also helped: the Citizens' Union of Russia Nikolai Starikov picketed in front of embassies and flash mobs in support of his mouth, drew attention to the issue in the media and on the Internet.

The names of the officials and authorized persons responsible for our success, I'm not going to name, 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, it is essential, in my opinion. Times are changing.


 We spent on this thing for about 9 months and quite a lot of money, hundreds of thousands of euros. Constantly worked on the case 4-5 lawyers in London, Moscow and Cyprus. Required substantial assistance of the Russian state, and it has been provided. It is clear that the relatives of Dmitry constantly flying to Cyprus and had given him moral support.
As a result of joint efforts Dmitry evening of Friday 12 April 2013 returned home.

Now of course he will have to deal with the available here claims to it by law enforcement agencies (in the second case for extradition), in which he was again helped by our lawyers. Not because we like to defend the offense hackers, but because everyone should have the right to protection. I think that everything will be fine.

For us, it turned out valuable experience of effective protection of our citizens abroad, the search experience and association of like-minded allies. I think all of us it was very useful.

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