Six Questions About US Cybercrime Suspect’s Risk Of Extradition For Frenchman Sébastien Raoult

Six Questions About US Cybercrime Suspect's Risk Of Extradition For Frenchman Sébastien Raoult

Sébastien Raoult’s sentence is approaching. On Monday, August 8, the Moroccan Court of Cassation issued, A “Favorable Feedback” The extradition of a 21-year-old Frenchman who had been imprisoned in the country for two months at the request of US authorities. According to Oops, He revealed the case on July 28 (Paid Item), The FBI (US Federal Bureau of Investigation) suspects that the young man is a member of a group of hackers. “Prolific Cybercriminals” by US authorities. If extradited to the US, he could face up to 110 years in prison.

1What happened to Sebastien Raoult?

On May 31, Sébastien Raoult was arrested at Morocco’s Rabat-Salé airport. Later that day, his friends, who were waiting for him at the Brussels airport until the plane arrived, did not get off the plane and reported his disappearance to his father. Oops.

Today, the French youth has been held in a prison near Rabat for more than two months. Paul Raoult says his son went to Morocco to breathe. “He was at a breaking point in his studies. He wanted to live, discover the world, travel and had a sense of wasting his time at school.”he explained to AFP.

In this undated photo, Sebastien Raoult, a 21-year-old Frenchman who was arrested in Morocco on May 31, 2022, takes a selfie.  (Courtesy of the family/AFP)

Before moving to Morocco, the young Frenchman lived with his parents in Epinal (Vosges). He was in his second year of computer studies in Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) before stopping his training last December. Interested in this field since childhood, he wanted to work in computer security. Interviewed The Parisian (Paid Article)July 29.

2What does he suspect?

According to the Moroccan police, the young Frenchman was the subject of a red notice (including a request to authorities worldwide and the immediate arrest of a person pending) issued by Interpol at the request of American justice. , in one case specifically cyberpiracy against US companies.

The FBI suspects Sebastian Raoult is part of a group of “Shinyhunters” chosen to represent the Pokemon universe. US authorities in the western state of Washington are seeking his extradition for these actions. “Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and abuse”, “Electronic Fraud” And “Severe Identity Theft”According to The US charge was sent to Morocco and consulted by AFP.

Last March, Github, one of the companies targeted by these cyberattacks, provided the FBI with information about IP addresses attributed to Sébastien Raoult in France and Morocco, according to text reports. According to his lawyer Philippe Ohion, the young Frenchman faces up to 116 years in prison in the United States.

3Which group are we talking about?

The group of hackers “ShinyHunters”, which appeared in the spring of 2020, caused a stir by selling almost 200 million stolen data, as the Weekly recalls. Dark web A piece of the Internet network accessible by software that anonymizes user data for nearly 200,000 dollars (about 196,000 euros).

For this, hackers have broken into the computer systems of many companies and demanded ransom from their targets. Many large American groups, such as Microsoft, the Bonobo clothing brand or AT&T, are concerned about being the second American telecommunications company.

Meanwhile, the French authorities have interviewed four more French nationals suspected of belonging to the same group, according to information collected by the weekly. A request for mutual criminal assistance regarding the “Shinyhunters” was sent by the US to France in the summer of 2021, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.

4What has Morocco decided, where the young Frenchman is being held?

Morocco’s Court of Cassation ruled on Monday “Favorable Feedback” According to an official document consulted by Franceinfo, confirming AFP’s comments, Sébastien Raoult should be extradited to the United States.

The country’s Supreme Court explains that the United States presented the extradition request as justification for its decision handed down on Wednesday, July 20. “within the period provided by law”. She also mentions “crimes” It is demanded by Americans “The Moroccan Penal Code has their equivalents”. “The request for consent fulfills all the conditions required by law”, Confirms the result.

This is “Favorable Feedback” is not final. In this sense, the Moroccan court does not currently, “not ordered” The surrender of the young Frenchman. Only handover can decide “By the Prime Minister on the proposal of a Commission to co-ordinate the Ministers of External Affairs and Justice”A source familiar with the matter explained to AFP.

5What do his followers say?

From the start of the case, Sébastien Raoult’s entourage proclaims the young Frenchman’s innocence. Interviewed by France 3 at the end of JulyPaul Raoult said he firmly believed in his son’s innocence. “I didn’t see him do that.”, he said. According to him, the young man denies the facts: “She claims (…) that her accounts were used without her knowledge”He explains Oops.

Paul Raoult, father of Sébastien Raoult, during a press conference in Paris on August 2, 2022.  (BERTRAND GUAY/AFP)

When Morocco’s extradition authorization was announced, the Frenchman’s lawyer, Philippe Ohyon, recalled him. Guaranteed to receive the handover” of his client in France”. Suspect’s father has He sent an open letter to President Emmanuel Macron on FridayBefore he turns, come to his aid Another letter Eric DuPont-Moretti, Minister of Justice. The letter was posted on his Facebook page on Saturday. He asks the Keeper of the Seals that an investigation be opened by the General Inspectorate of Justice.

“Sebastien Raoult was not simply abandoned by France, we believe he was sacrificed”, says the Frenchman’s lawyer. On the same day Sebastien Raoult was arrested in Morocco, “May 31 Franco-American Police Operation”. Authorization to arrest in France “Five more in this case”Philippe Ohayon insists.

I asked about RTL on TuesdayPaul Raoult expressed his regret again: “We are in the denial of justice by France, which abandons one of its nationalshe said. Make no mistake today, my son was infected by France and was prevented from going to America. He arranges not to return to France.”

6What can the French government do in this situation?

The question was raised on BFMTV on August 3Justice Minister Eric DuPont-Moretti confirmed French justice “At this stage, there is no opportunity to intervene”. Lawyer Dilbadi Gasimov, contacted by franceinfo, said the French government cannot ask Moroccan authorities to hand over French nationals to them. “As long as legal proceedings are underway in France, but that’s not the case.”He says.

Similarly, theSebastien Raoult’s lawyer responded to AFP when the Moroccan court issued its opinion, reiterating its request to open a judicial investigation in France, along with a French arrest warrant for his client’s extradition to France.

Currently, France can “Intervene through his messengers to support the young prisoner in the confined spaceDibaldi Kasimov explains. But it cannot have influence or weight in the final handover decision.” For his part, theAt LCI on Monday, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said she understood “Obviously his father’s concern” And “Do everything (…) to give him all the consular protection we can”. undecided on the possibility of extraditing him to France.

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About the Author: Seth Sale

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