A 21-year-old Frenchman, wanted by the United States for his alleged involvement in a case of cybercrime against companies, is imprisoned in Morocco. His father calls on the French government to prevent his extradition across the Atlantic.
At the request of the American authorities, a 21-year-old French student, Sébastien Raoult, has been imprisoned for two months in Morocco. He is suspected of being a member of a group of cybercriminals, which has targeted American companies, including Microsoft. His father requests his extradition to France rather than to the United States.
“I ask the Prime Minister [Élisabeth Borne, NDLR] that she contact the Americans so that they stop their prosecution in America, so that my son can be tried in France and prove his innocence”, declared Monday August 1 Paul Raoult, 63 years old.
Also assuring that his son was innocent, Paul Raoult denounces a “denial of justice”. “My son did not benefit from the judicial protection of France and France did not apply the principle of jurisdiction”, he regretted.
A notice issued by Interpol
According to the Moroccan police, Sébastien Raoult was arrested on May 31 at Rabat-Salé airport, while he was the subject of a red notice issued by Interpol at the request of American justice.
Incarcerated since June 2 in the prison of Tiflet 2, near Rabat, “he keeps his spirits up” according to his father who manages to reach him by telephone about once a week. “He has a good mind. […] but finally it’s starting to last, it’s been two months now that he’s been dying of heat in a Moroccan prison”, he lamented. “What he is accused of is acts he allegedly committed in France, and there it starts to raise questions”, also underlined Paul Raoult.
Calling on the Minister of Justice Éric Dupond-Moretti to come out of “his silence”, the father of Sébastien Raoult wishes “that he arranges so that [son] son returns to France, where he can be judged”, assuring that he was not seeking to escape justice.
Sébastien Raoult’s lawyer, Me Philippe Ohayon, also called on the Keeper of the Seals on Sunday to intervene so that his client is not extradited to the United States but to France. For Mr. Ohayon, “we exported turnkey a French file which should have been the responsibility of a French examining magistrate”. He asked the Épinal prosecutor’s office to open a preliminary investigation into the facts attributed to Sébastien Raoult who was then residing in the Vosges.
“The public prosecutor rejects our request to open a preliminary investigation on the grounds that the territory of the Vosges would have no jurisdiction to deal with this file”, indicates the lawyer. “The American documents demonstrate in every way that he is competent”, disputes Me Ohayon who underlines that “the American arrest warrant gives as address the address of Sébastien in Épinal”.
The “Shiny Hunters”
This Frenchman was in his second year of computer studies when he stopped his training last December. “He was in a phase of rupture with studies. He wanted to live, to discover the world and to travel and had the impression of wasting his time at school”, explained his father Paul Raoult. He was staying in Morocco when he was arrested.
According to the Obs, which revealed the case, the FBI suspects the young man of being a member of a group of hackers – the “ShinyHunters”, a reference to the Pokémon universe – accused of being ” prolific cybercriminals” by US authorities. Sébastien Raoult would incur a sentence of 116 years in prison in the United States for the facts attributed to him.
Source: France 24