Thursday, September 25, 2014


Sketch of Defendant, from Russian news article 
Roman Seleznev, the Russian hacker who has been charged with stealing, and selling, Seattle consumers' credit card numbers, and generally wreaking havoc in the local business community, continues to have problems while in custody, and they include allegations that the Bureau of Prisons has effectively denied him proper access to counsel. Russian authorities have consistently asserted that Russian nationals are being unfairly treated, before, during, and after, their Federal criminal trials.

The defendant's lawyers have filed objections to, and affidavits in support of, their client's reputed mistreatment at the Federal detention center where he is awaiting trial, FDC SeaTac, in the State of Washington. As the probable result, he has now been moved from the administrative segregation unit, the SHU, and into general prison population. If he is a security risk, why move him ?

The problem remains his denial of access to counsel; he is not being permitted contact visits with his counsel, who complain that he needs to review discovery documents, for trial preparation, and to execute documents, which cannot occur at present. He is also being denied the ability to receive legal mail, unopened except in his presence, and unread by BOP staff.

Considering the financial damage that the defendant wrought in Seattle, through his criminal conduct, it would be tragic if a conviction was reversed on appeal, solely because certain law enforcement staff, considering him a "high profile" prisoner (his father, Valery, is a member of the Duma, the Russian Parliament) are denying him even the most basic access to his attorneys.

The District Judge in his case has, thus far, stated that he will not "micromanage" the defendant's custody situation, but counsel has requested an open-court inquiry into exactly why Seleznev is considered a high-profile case, deserving of a denial of the rights granted to all defendants, even non-citizens. He may be despicable, but level the playing field for his trial, please.

Remember, there is still the issue of his reputedly illegal abduction from the Maldives, by Secret Service agents. Though most Federal decisions have historically ignored the circumstances of exactly how a criminal defendant was brought before the Court, there are a minority of cases where clearly unconscionable conduct resulted in a decision favorable to an individual abducted from another jurisdiction.

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