Bloomberg extortion-by-e-mail case goes to court

Bloomberg extortion-by-e-mail case goes to court

The extradition hearing of two Kazakhstanis facing blackmail, hacking and computer intrusion charges against Bloomberg in the US is expected to conclude today at Bow Street Magistrates Court.

The charges against Oleg Zezov and Igor Yarimika were read out yesterday. The hearing is expected to conclude today and will determine whether the accused are to face trial in the US or remain on remand in the UK, where they may also face criminal charges. A verdict is not expected for at least two weeks.

In court it was alleged that Zezov and Yarimika found a way to break into Bloomberg's computer systems and read personal emails. The men are alleged to have obtained the credit card number of Michael Bloomberg himself and initiate Hotmail correspondence demanding a $200,000 fee in return for advising on weaknesses in the security of his company's computer systems

Bloomberg reported the matter to the FBI and a meet was arranged in London in August, when the men were arrested.

Zezov and Yarimika deny the charges. Their defence counsel says that the men attended the London meeting as representatives of a third person, known only as "Alex", who had contacted Bloomberg offering security services.

The verdict hinges on the admissability of email evidence and juridictional issues relating to where the alleged crimes took place.

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