26 Dec 2018 10:23

Period of psychiatric evaluation of Russian citizen Nikulin incarcerated in U.S. extended - newspaper

MOSCOW. Dec 26 (Interfax) - A report on the psychiatric evaluation of Russian citizen Yevgeny Nikulin, who is incarcerated in the United States on cybercrime counts, will be submitted to a U.S. court by February 8, 2019, the newspaper Izvestia said on Wednesday citing the relevant court order.

Nikulin was transferred to the infirmary of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles in early December. The court-ordered psychiatric evaluation will last for almost two months, Izvestia said.

The report will be submitted to court by February 8, and the government will present a copy of this order to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the newspaper said, noting that the order was signed by the California northern district judge.

Nikulin's lawyer Arkady Bukh confirmed the information to Izvestia. He said the fate of the Russian citizen would be determined at a court hearing on February 12, 2019.

"All parties - the defense, the attorney's office, and the court - are waiting for the results of the Russian citizen's examination. We will be able to plan further defense of Yevgeny after the document is received. We were expecting the report to be ready in late January, but the judge granted the request of the hospital administration and extended the examination of 15 days, which is allowed by U.S. laws. I think this happens because of the long Christmas holidays," Bukh told the newspaper.

According to Bukh, Nikulin is being held under "relatively normal conditions" and slowly adjusting to the new environment, Izvestia said.

Nikulin was ordered to undergo a mandatory psychiatric examination, which would establish his sanity and ability to stand trial, on October 10, the newspaper said. The decision was based on the "strange behavior" of the Russian citizen who, according to the defense, was practically ignoring the proceeding and demonstrating his indifference. In the opinion of defense, all charges should be dropped and Nikulin should be transferred to Moscow for a full treatment if he is found insane, Izvestia said.

Nikulin was detained in Prague in 2016 at the request of U.S. security services. He was held at the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital and, according to lawyers, was forced to take strong anti-psychotic and anti-epileptic drugs. The United States indicted Nikulin on charges of cyberattacks on big American companies.