Čalovskis nervous but pleased by extradition postponement

Deniss Čalovskis, accused by the US of cybercrimes for which he faces pending extradition from Latvia, said Friday he was pleased the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had found Latvia to have committed significant violations of his human rights.

On LTV morning news program Rīta Panorāma, his attorney Ilona Bulgakova said the ECHR had proven so far to be “the only effective instrument in the process” and questioned why in Latvia itself “we are unable to observe our own rule of law.”

She characterized the “10 months and 7 days spent in prison without a chance of hearing a review of his case” as “stone-age measures where they think they can just hold someone in a cell for a whole year.”

On his part, Čalovskis avoided explaining how he came to be in the sights of US investigators who allege he was part of a ring with Russian and Romanian accomplices that unleashed the malicious Gozi virus to strip bank accounts worldwide.

He instead cited work on three newly-developing social-entrepreneurship projects involving pothole notification, bridge-repair monitoring and anti-littering apps. He said he wants to “give back to society.”

Čalovskis was critical of his lengthy incarceration, arguing it was completely unnecessary.

"I will never get that time back... I could have been at home, where I’ve missed some critical events, such as the death of my father, whom I’ll never get back, either,” Čalovskis said.

He said he was worried that the ECHR ruling saw no reason to believe he would face unfair or unduly harsh consequences in the US judicial system.

“I’m a Latvian citizen, born and raised here, and they kept me for ten months. What are they going to have no qualms about doing to me over there? I can just imagine,” Čalovskis said.

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