Morocco takes step toward US extradition of French cybercrime suspect

(Photo: AFP)

RABAT — Morocco’s top court has given a preliminary endorsement over the extradition to the US of a French national suspected of cybercrimes, judicial sources said on Monday.اضافة اعلان

A document seen by AFP said the court gave a “favorable opinion” on the extradition of Sebastien Raoult, 21, but a source close to the case explained that the court “did not order” the extradition.

The extradition itself can only be decided by the prime minister after a proposal by a committee also including the justice and foreign ministers, the source said.

French magazine L’Obs reported that the FBI suspects Raoult of belonging to the ShinyHunters hacking group, which has allegedly targeted US companies including Microsoft.

The report said US authorities were seeking Raoult’s extradition over accusations including electronic fraud and identity theft.

Raoult could face more than 100 years in prison in the US over the charges, according to L’Obs.

A police source in Morocco had confirmed in late July that Raoult was taken in for questioning on May 31 at the Rabat-Sale airport in relation to an Interpol red notice over a cyber-piracy case.

Red notices ask member countries to provisionally detain people pending possible extradition or other legal action.

Raoult’s French lawyer, Philippe Ohayon, said the court decision “reinforces our determination” that Raoult be extradited to France, not the US.

“We believe that Sebastien Raoult has not simply been abandoned by France but that he has been sacrificed,” because a French-American operation arrested five other suspects in France the same day Raoult was detained in Morocco, the lawyer said.

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