HAMILTON, Ontario (AP) — A Canadian man of Kazakh origins who was arrested in a massive hack of Yahoo emails appeared briefly via video link in a Hamilton, Ontario court on Friday where a date has been set for his bail hearing.
Karim Baratov did not say anything during his appearance, looking straight ahead with his hands in front of him.
The 22-year-old hacker is set to appear again on April 5.
He was arrested under the extradition act on Tuesday in the Ontario community of Ancaster, Ontario. Baratov, also known as "Kay," ''Karim Taloverov" and "Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov," is a Canadian and Kazakh national and a resident of Canada.
U.S. authorities said earlier this week that Baratov and three others, including two men alleged to be officers of the Russian Federal Security Service, were indicted for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.
Baratov's lawyer Amedeo Dicarlo has said the allegations against his client are unfounded and that he will fight efforts to have his client extradited to the United States.
"Our essential goal is to get Mr. Baratov out," Dicarlo told reporters outside court before Baratov's Friday hearing. "This is an attack by the U.S. government, it's a challenge by the U.S. government. We are fighting that challenge."
Dicarlo said his client is "healthy" and "confident" but declined to answer questions about Baratov's personal life or profession, describing him only as an "entrepreneur."
"I cannot describe what Karim does nor who he is until the time is right," he said. Baratov's family is also asking for privacy, he said.
People who said they know Baratov told The Associated Press he's an exotic car buff who has owned an Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Porsche and Mercedes, among others. His Facebook page is peppered with photos of cars and includes one post in which he says he was suspended from school four years ago for threatening to kill a former friend as a joke.
Friend Saqar Khudairy confirmed the Facebook profile as Baratov's and said his pal told him he owned a network of servers that hosted websites, mainly in Russia.
Mike Le, owner of All In Detailings in Mississauga, Ontario, said Baratov was once a popular and flashy client but reserved about anything personal and very secretive about his life.
The three other suspects in the case are Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, and Alexsey Alexseyevich (Magg) Belan, 29, all Russian nationals and residents. It's not clear whether they will ever step foot in an American courtroom because there's no extradition treaty with Russia.
Dokuchaev and Sushchin are said to be Russian intelligence agents who allegedly masterminded and directed the hacking, the U.S. Justice Department has said.