(JNS) Israel extradited Russian hacker Alexei Burkov to the United States on Monday night, Nov. 11,reported Israel’s Channel 12. The Russians submitted a petition asking Israel to extradite the hacker to Moscow, but on Sunday, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected the request. Burkov’s case may be connected to the imprisonment of 26-year-old Israeli tourist Naama Issachar in Russia, who was convicted by a Russian court earlier this year on charges of drug possession and smuggling after 9.5 grams of hashish were found in her luggage during her layover at an airport in Moscow. Issachar “may have been imprisoned as a bargaining chip in a diplomatic prisoner row between Washington and Moscow involving Burkov,” reported i24News.
The Russian Embassy in Israel criticized Israel’s decision to reject the petition filed against the Justice Minister’s order to extradite Burkov to the United States.
Chief Justice Esther Hayut wrote in her verdict that “it was not found that there are exceptional circumstances that justify the Supreme Court’s intervention in the minister’s decision,” referring to Israeli Justice Minister Amir Ohana. The Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv wrote on Twitter that the court’s ruling “constitutes a breach of [Burkov’s] rights, as well as Israel’s international obligations.” The embassy added “this step does not contribute to the relations between Russia and Israel.”