Pyotr Levashov: Russian Programmer Arrested in Spain over US Election Hacking
A Russian computer programmer has been arrested in Spain for alleged involvement in “hacking” the US election, Spanish media reported.
The man, named as Pyotr Levashov, was arrested on April 7 in Barcelona. He has now been remanded in custody.
A “legal source” also told the AFP that Pyotr Levashov was the subject of an extradition request by the US.
The request is due to be examined by Spain’s national criminal court, the agency added.
Spanish news website El Confidencial has said that Pyotr Levashov’s arrest warrant was issued by US authorities over suspected “hacking” that helped Donald Trump’s campaign.
Pyotr Levashov’s wife Maria also told Russian broadcaster RT that the arrest was made in connection with such allegations.
Several cybersecurity experts have also linked Pyotr Levashov to a Russian spam kingpin, who uses the alias Peter Severa.
A US intelligence report released in January alleged that President Vladimir Putin tried to help Donald Trump to victory.
Donald Trump later commented that the outcome of the election had not been affected.
The report said that Russia’s objectives were to “undermine public faith” in the US democratic process and “denigrate” Donald Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.
Russia’s efforts to this end allegedly included hacking into email accounts used by the Democratic National Committee; using intermediaries such as WikiLeaks to release hacked information; and funding social media users or “trolls” to make nasty comments.
However, there were no details of Vladimir Putin’s alleged involvement with such interference in the report.
Vladimir Putin has strongly denied allegations that Russia tried to influence the US election.