Wanted Russian hacker claims he worked for Putin's party: report

Wanted Russian hacker claims he worked for Putin's party: report
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A renowned Russian hacker arrested by Spanish authorities on a U.S. warrant, reportedly said Thursday he worked for Russian President Vladimir Putin's party.

Peter Levashov told a Madrid court that he worries he would be tortured and possibly killed if extradited to the U.S., Reuters, citing a report by the RIA news agency, reported.


“If I go to the U.S., I will die in a year. They want to get information of a military nature and about the United Russia party,” he said, according to the news agency. “I will be tortured, within a year I will be killed, or I will kill myself.”

Levashov, who is also known as Peter Severa, said he has worked for the United Russia party for a decade.

“I collected different information about opposition parties and delivered it to the necessary people at the necessary time,” he said, according to the Reuters report, but did not elaborate further.

Levashov faces charges in the U.S. related to the creation of a global network of hijacked computers — called "Kelihos" botnets. These botnets, prosecutors say, infected about 100,000 devices with viruses, sending spam email messages he allegedly used to obtain users' private or financial information. 

U.S. prosecutors are reportedly seeking a 52-year jail sentence for Levashov, who denies the hacking allegations and is fighting against the extradition request.

Russia has also requested his extradition, according to the Reuters report.

The Justice Department and several congressional panels are currently looking into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Russia has repeatedly denied allegations that it meddled in the race.