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RIGA, October 11 (RAPSI) – The Latvian Prosecutor General's Office ordered the release Thursday of computer hacker Deniss Calovskis, who is accused of multimillion dollar cybercrime in the United States.
Calovskis, 27, who had been held in detention since December 4, 2012, walked out of Riga’s central prison at just after midday on Thursday and was met by his mother, mixnews.lv website reported.
The programmer said in an interview with the Baltkom radio station he had little hope of being released.
"The release came as a huge surprise for me. I was slightly disoriented at first… My heart was pumping hard. I’m at home now and I'm gradually recovering from the initial excitement,” he said.
On August 6, the Latvian authorities decided to extradite Calovskis to the United States. His attorneys appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, and on August 8, it said his extradition procedure should be suspended until it had looked at the case.
The Latvian government said it would comply with that request.
The Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics told local media in July he would oppose Calovskis’ extradition to the US on the grounds he could receive a “disproportionate” 67-year sentence, Bloomberg reported.
Calovskis was charged by US prosecutors in Manhattan in January with using the Gozi virus to infect over a million computers worldwide, including at NASA, the US space agency. He allegedly worked on the virus together with Russian national Nikita Kuzmin, 25 and Romanian national Mihai Ionut Paunescu, 28, mixnews.lv reported.
The hackers had used the virus to steal several million dollars from bank accounts, the US authorities claim.
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