Russian computer programmer and alleged spam kingpin Pyotr Levashov arrested in Spain

However, Levashov's arrest drew immediate attention after his wife told a Russia's RT broadcaster he was linked to America's 2016 election hacking.

A Russian computer programmer named Pyotr Levashov was arrested in Barcelona, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Spain confirmed over the weekend, according to Reuters.

The US Embassy in Spain declined comment.

Russia's Vice Consul in Barcelona Stanislav Petrunichev told Sputnik on Sunday that the Russian diplomats were providing all necessary assistance to Levashov maintaining a constant dialogue with the local police. According to unconfirmed reports, his arrest was linked with hacking attacks during the United States presidential race. If law enforcement officials confirm that he is, his arrest could mark a break in prosecuting Russian spam and computer crime. According to the civil complaint, Peter Yuryevich Levashov, a Russian citizen, allegedly operated the Kelihos botnet since approximately 2010, the statement said.

A Spanish court specializing in worldwide cases will rule on whether he will be sent to the US.

A US Department of Justice official said it was a criminal matter without an apparent national security connection.

United States intelligence agencies in January publicly accused Russian Federation of hacking the 2016 presidential campaign in a bid to sway the outcome in favour of Republican candidate Donald Trump.

-Stanislav Lisov, a computer programmer from Taganrog, on Russia's Black Sea coast, was also grabbed in Barcelona, arrested at the city's worldwide airport with his wife on January 13.

The president has also come under fire because members of his campaign staff and administration have met with Russian government officials in the past, although several Russian government officials live and work in Washington, communicate wit the USA government and lobbying groups.

FBI Director James Comey has testified that his agency is investigating whether members of President Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation to influence the 2016 election.

The Kelihos operation was the first targeting a botnet to use a recent judicial rule change that allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to obtain a sole search warrant to remotely access computers located in any jurisdiction, potentially even overseas, a Justice Department spokesman said.

  • Rogelio Becker