On February 1, a press conference was held in Kyiv: - The real story of Mark Sokolovskyi

Feb 1, 2024, 8:18:59 PM

On February 1, a press conference was held in Kyiv on the topic: The real story of Mark Sokolovskyi. Why doesn't Ukraine care about the fate of a powerful IT specialist who wants to serve his country?       

At the initiative of Sokolovskyi's official representatives - his mother Olena Nekhayeva, head of the Charity Foundation "Mercy", and Natalia Tselovalnichenko, a lawyer in Ukraine and human rights activist - an offline and online event was held in Kyiv to objectively inform the public and the media, which involved informed lawyers of Mark Sokolovskyi in Ukraine, the Netherlands, France and the United States, and witnesses of his volunteer activities in Ukraine.

As a reminder, Sokolovskyi has been detained in the Netherlands since March 20, 2022. He was detained on charges of an unprecedented scale of cybercrime by the United States. According to officials involved in the Republican Party of Texas, Sokolovskyi allegedly harmed US national security. Since then, the defendant's defense has not received a single piece of evidence from prosecutors. Instead, the prosecution managed to build a personal PR campaign on this case (state prosecutor Michael C. Galdo), and the Western press called Mark "the hacker of all time" at their suggestion.

During this time, no court rulings on the merits of the charges have been made against Mark. There are also no signs of an investigation: interrogations, analysis of his testimony, or presentation of evidence to the prosecution.

But this does not prevent prosecutors from demanding his extradition to the United States.

According to Mark's testimony, since the beginning of the full-scale war, he has been volunteering and was one of the IT professionals who opposed the aggressor in the cybersphere. At the end of March 2022, as a person who is not medically eligible for mobilization and as a volunteer, he legally went to the Netherlands on behalf of the Charity Foundation "Mercy" to purchase bulletproof vests for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But upon arrival in the Netherlands, he was arrested.

All this time, Mark Sokolovskyi has been emphasizing that he is not involved in cybercrime and asking for the opportunity to prove it.

Since December 07, 2023, after Mark's nervous breakdown, he has been held in custody in inhumane conditions in a punishment cell. The management of the penitentiary institution where Sokolovskyi is being held and the Minister of Justice of the Netherlands in their correspondence with Olena Nekhayeva insist that Mark is in good physical and moral condition and avoid explaining the procedure for his extradition. Instead, the photos taken in prison by his Dutch lawyer clearly prove that this is not true.

- "Approximately two weeks ago, we were informed that Sokolovskiy had flown to the United States," says Sokolovskiy's lawyer in the United States, Oleksiy Tarasov, "but the extradition did not take place because (according to a representative of the US Attorney General's Office) there was a medical incident that prevented Mark from getting on the plane.

As explained to his lawyer, the US representatives did not agree to take on board a chartered flight a person who was injured and fainted from exhaustion.

The conditions of Sokolovskyi's detention in a Dutch prison, the disregard of his official diagnoses and the actual denial of professional medical care have already attracted the attention of human rights activists. According to Mark's lawyer, Yegor Boychenko, the ECHR has granted a deadline for Mark's application against the Netherlands to be filed.

The lawyer noted that from a legal point of view, Mark Sokolovskyi has been in prison for two years without any reason, during which time his health condition has deteriorated significantly, there was a suicide attempt, and he is in a serious physical and mental condition.

Natalia Tselovalnichenko emphasized the lack of evidence against him.

- "I could be charged with developing Racoon Stealer or any other virus," said Jacob Lier, Executive Director of the Stellar Kharkiv Group branch of private enterprise, Sokolovskyi's employer in the Netherlands, "The remnants of the virus that were allegedly found in Sokolovskyi's enclave can be found by any IT specialist specializing in cybersecurity.

Defense lawyer Natalia Tselovalnichenko points out that the prosecution does not have any expert opinions from IT experts to substantiate its claims of Sokolovskyi's guilt. Texas State Attorney Michael C. Galdo is by no means such an expert.

- "A person was 'appointed' guilty in a case where no real criminals were found," Natalia Tselovalnichenko is convinced. "But IT crimes are subject to universal jurisdiction, so each country can conduct an independent investigation. And given that US prosecutors claim that Sokolovsky's alleged criminal activities took place on the territory of Ukraine, this case against Mark may have a public political component and is dangerous for Ukraine. The lawyer called on the SBU to verify the circumstances of the case, join the investigation and protect the national interests of Ukraine. She confirmed Mark Sokolovskyi's readiness to cooperate with the SBU.  In her opinion, there is a real threat to Ukraine that certain political forces will use Sokolovskyi's case in the US elections to propagandize against Ukraine.

Marko's mother, Olena Nekhayeva, also appeals to the Ukrainian authorities for support and an independent investigation. She is convinced that returning Sokolovsky to his homeland will give her son the opportunity to be useful to his country.

- "Mark is not a cybercriminal, but a high-level IT specialist, and he will be useful in organizing Ukraine's cyber resistance against the aggressor country," insists Olena Nekhayeva.

Olena Nekhayeva agreed to provide original case documents, court decisions, relevant references, etc. upon additional personal request from the media or other institutions.    

Olena Nekhayeva +380663006151 (phone and Telegram), ratingfortuna@gmail.com 

All information regarding Mark's case will be posted

- on the website: marksokolovsky.org;   

- on the channel: youtube.com/@marksokolovsky.   

You can also contact the organizers for access to the comments and recording of the conference:

Natalia Tselovalnichenko +380954188050

Olga Kvasova-Tsymbalyuk + 380673217901

Video at the link - www.youtube.com  

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