The U.S. Justice Department on Friday unveiled spy charges against a Russian man who studied at a university in Washington under a Brazilian alias and tried to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
A Justice Department indictment against Sergei Vladimirovich Cherkasov suggests that he will seek to challenge his extradition to Russia from Brazil, where he is currently imprisoned on identity fraud charges.
Cherkasov, 39, was detained by Dutch authorities in early April 2022 for using fake identification.
He arrived in Brazil as Viktor Müller Ferreira, a Brazilian, and took a position as a junior analyst at the ICC.
However, Dutch police determined that he was not Brazilian, but an agent of the GRU military intelligence agency in Moscow.
He was a so-called “illegal” spy who spent years in hiding abroad and developing an entirely new identity.
According to the US indictment and a resume he posted online, it also included attending a master’s degree program in the International Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington from 2018 to 2020.
The Dutch say that had Cherkasov worked for the ICC, he would have had access to “highly valuable” information on war crimes investigations in Ukraine, and even influence criminal proceedings in The Hague-based courts. Said he should have.
He was deported to Brazil on April 3, where he was charged with identity fraud.
Chersakov was sentenced to 15 years in prison in July.
But by September, Moscow formally asked Brasilia to deport him to Russia.
The U.S. Department of Justice has charged him with illegally acting as an agent of a foreign power while he was in the United States.
They said they gathered information about an unidentified American while they were students in Washington and passed it on to their handlers.
He was also charged with visa fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and other charges stemming from his activities in the United States.
It was not immediately clear if or when the US Department of Justice would seek his extradition from Brazil.
“If a foreign adversary like Russia sends covert operatives into the United States, we will find them and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/us-charges-russian-spy-who-tried-to-infiltrate-war-crime-court-529196/ US charges Russian spy for trying to infiltrate war crimes tribunal