Russia’s foreign ministry on Wednesday accused the U.S. of "kidnapping" Yury Martyshev, a Latvian man with Russian citizenship who is accused of committing cybercrime. Former U.S. law enforcement officials, however, say that what Russia considers kidnapping is in reality a legitimate and legal effort to arrest a criminal.

Martyshev was arrested overseas and extradited to the U.S. late last month to face charges in a Virginia court. He is accused of helping run one of "the largest" hacking marketplaces on the dark web, where customers could trade and purchase illegal penetration, vulnerability and malware testing tools, according to unsealed court documents. He was originally indicted in October 2016. Some experts believe Martyshev was behind the infamous Scan4You service, which went down earlier this year.

"It’s high irony that the Russians are criticizing the U.S. for this one. The fact they’re calling it ‘kidnapping’ is ridiculous," said Edward McAndrew, a former federal cybercrime prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of Virginia and for the District of Delaware. In this instance, a mutual legal assistance treaty worked as intended, he said.

"It looks like the Latvians complied with a request,"said McAndrew, who reviewed the arrest warrant and indictment documents for Martyshev. "It’s that simple."

The backlash by the Russian Embassy follows shortly after the publication of an unsealed indictment naming Martyshev and two other accomplices, including Latvian citizen Ruslans Bondars and an American only identified as Z.S. in charging documents. There is some evidence to suggest that Z.S. is Zachary Shames, a U.S. student who plead guilty in January for developing and selling spyware online.

"The timing of this indictment is at the very least interesting, " McAndrew said. In some situations, a court may wait to unseal an indictment or publish a criminal complaint depending on extraneous circumstances, like a significant political event, McAndrews explained. It appears as if the G20 Summit either did not meet this criteria or wasn’t considered.

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