Hacker Goes to Top Dutch Court in U.S. Extradition Fight

Vladimir Drinkman, a Muscovite wanted by the U.S. on charges he helped lead a ring that hacked 17 companies including 7-Eleven Inc. and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., is fighting a Dutch court ruling that would allow his extradition.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands, the nation’s top court, yesterday received Drinkman’s appeal of a ruling that said the U.S. request is admissible and a hearing date will now be set, said Mireille Beentjes, a spokeswoman at the court.

Drinkman, who has been in custody in the Netherlands since his arrest on June 28, 2012, is facing competing extradition requests from the U.S. and Russia. The Rotterdam Court on April 16 said both demands were admissible, and now it’s up to the Dutch Minister of Justice to decide. Drinkman didn’t appeal the Russian ruling, according to the Rotterdam Court.

U.S. prosecutors in New Jersey on July 25 said Drinkman was one of five people involved in the theft of more than 160 million credit- and debit-card numbers by hacking 17 retailers, financial institutions and payment processors, which also included Carrefour SA and J.C. Penney Co. In Russia, he’s accused of cybercrime fraud, according to the Rotterdam Court.

According to Dutch law, a person has to file the reasons for an appeal at least a day before the hearing, otherwise the appeal isn’t heard. Beentjes said.

Drinkman’s attorney, Bart Stapert, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

Russia sought his extradition on Oct. 15, the Rotterdam court said, 14 months after the U.S. request.