Lawsuit filed against Russians
USA: Spy wanted to infiltrate International Criminal Court
3/25/2023 7:56 am
In April 2022, a man who wanted to take up a post at the International Criminal Court was arrested in the Netherlands. Investigations reveal that he works for the Russian military intelligence service. He is now in custody in Brazil – the US also wants to hold him accountable.
The US wants to bring to justice a suspected Russian spy who allegedly tried to infiltrate the International Criminal Court in The Hague. As the prosecutor in Washington announced, a lawsuit was filed against Sergei Vladimirovich Cherkasov for espionage offenses. The US judiciary apparently wants to prevent the 37-year-old from being transferred from his current country of residence, Brazil, to Russia.
Cherkasov was arrested by Dutch authorities in April 2022 for using forged identity papers. In the Netherlands he had posed as a Brazilian named Viktor Muller Ferreira who wanted to take up a position at the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, investigations by the Dutch police revealed that he is not Brazilian and worked for the Russian military intelligence service GRU.
USA: Identity built up over years
According to the US judiciary, Cherkasov has built up a different identity over the years. From 2018 to 2020 he completed a master’s degree in international relations at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. Had he actually been able to take up the post at the ICC, the US judiciary said he could have gathered “highly valuable” information on the investigation of war crimes in Ukraine or even influenced procedural decisions of the Hague tribunal.
In April 2022, Cherkasov was extradited from the Netherlands to Brazil, where he faced charges of identity fraud. In July he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. In September, however, Russia requested his extradition from Brazil because he was to be tried there for drug trafficking in the years 2011 to 2013.
Also allegations of bank and visa fraud
The US judiciary accuses the Russian of having collected information about US citizens during his studies and passed it on to his liaison officers. He is also charged with bank and visa fraud and other crimes in the United States.
She did not say whether or when the US judiciary intends to apply to Brazil for Cherkasov’s extradition. But prosecutor Matthew Graves said: “If foreign adversaries like Russia send undercover forces to the US, we will find them and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”