Reply to Russia on Russians Detained in the United States

Right of Reply to the Russian Federation on Russians Detained in the United States

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Michele Siders
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
September 28, 2017

In response to the Russian Federation, I refer all delegations to our recent rights of reply in the August 31 Permanent Council and the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw regarding the facts about Mr. Bout’s and Mr. Yaroshenko’s cases. The United States has fully complied with all of its international and domestic legal obligations in the apprehension, prosecution, and conviction of both Mr. Bout and Mr. Yaroshenko.

Mr. Martyshev was extradited from Latvia to stand trial in the Eastern District of Virginia for wire fraud and computer intrusion. His apprehension was lawful and he was extradited pursuant to our bilateral extradition treaty with Latvia.

Mr. Seleznev was indicted in the Western District of Washington for a computer hacking scheme that compromised the financial accounts of credit card customers. In 2014, Maldivian authorities expelled him to the custody of U.S. law enforcement, all in accordance with Maldivian law. Mr. Seleznev was convicted in August 2016 of 38 counts related to his scheme to hack into point-of-sale computers to steal credit card numbers and sell them on dark market websites. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison for his computer hacking crimes that caused more than $169 million in damage to small businesses and financial institutions.

In closing, we categorically reject the Kremlin’s bogus claims that we are “hunting” or “kidnapping” Russian citizens abroad. These arrests and prosecutions had nothing to do with the individuals’ nationalities. Each individual was tried in a court of law and afforded due process, and the United States fully complied with all of its international and domestic legal obligations.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.