Canadian accused in massive Yahoo email hack denied bail

Click to play video: 'Parents, lawyers for Karim Baratov ‘disappointed’ after bail denied' Parents, lawyers for Karim Baratov ‘disappointed’ after bail denied
WATCH ABOVE: Lawyers for Karim Baratov comment after their client was denied bail during a hearing Tuesday in Hamilton – Apr 11, 2017

HAMILTON – A Canadian accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails was denied bail on Tuesday after the judge rejected his parents as supervisors.

After all, Ontario Superior Court Justice Alan Whitten said in his decision, they had come to live lavish lifestyles while apparently ignoring how their son, Karim Baratov, was making so much money.

WATCH: Ancaster man accused in massive Yahoo hack denied bail. Lama Nicolas reports.
Click to play video: 'Ancaster man accused in massive Yahoo hack denied bail' Ancaster man accused in massive Yahoo hack denied bail
Ancaster man accused in massive Yahoo hack denied bail – Apr 11, 2017

Whitten was having none of the assertions from Baratov’s father, Akhmet Tokbergenov, who told court jail would “appear to be paradise” compared with how strictly he would watch his son.

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“Sounds pretty serious but the court has to keep in mind that this was one of the parents who would have witnessed the pronounced growth of affluence by their teenaged son while he was in the family home,” Whitten said.

“The parents were obviously prepared to turn a blind eye to their son’s activities on the Internet and they benefited in turn by his financial contribution to the household maintenance.”

READ MORE: Father of Karim Baratov, alleged Yahoo hacker, promises electronics ban if bail granted

Baratov, 22, was arrested under the Extradition Act last month after U.S. authorities indicted him – and three others, two of them allegedly officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service – for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.

The breach at Yahoo affected at least a half billion user accounts, but Baratov is only accused of hacking 80 accounts.

His defence lawyer, Deepak Paradkar, argued the allegations had been “inflated,” and said the young man was neither as rich nor as well-connected as has been portrayed.

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For its part, the Crown said Baratov had “large unknown sums of money” that he could access from anywhere, making it easy for him to flee the country and avoid possible extradition to the U.S.

Paradkar told the bail hearing there was no place to which Baratov could flee, since he had no known ties to any other country and police had seized his Canadian passport.

The lawyer said his client posed no threat to the public and detaining him would undermine public confidence in the justice system. Among proposed bail measures Whitten rejected was that Baratov would live with his parents under their supervision, wear an ankle monitor and have no access to electronic devices.

READ MORE: ‘He’s not a criminal’: Parents of Canadian charged in massive Yahoo hack speak out

Tokbergenov works from home and would monitor his son around the clock, the lawyer told court.

“They’re going to watch him like a hawk,” Paradkar said. “They’re going to be very vigilant compared to what they were before.”

Prosecutor Heather Graham argued Baratov’s parents were blind to his alleged activities even when he was living under their roof and thus cannot be responsible for keeping him in line – arguments with which Whitten agreed.

“The effectiveness of the parents’ supervision must be questioned,” Whitten said. “Past silence or acquiescence does not bode well.”

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READ MORE: Who is Karim Baratov? 22-year-old Canadian among 4 charged in massive Yahoo hack

The judge also worried that a friend might supply the accused with a device that would allow him to transfer money and make flight arrangements.

American authorities alleged in court documents that Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan, posed an “extremely high flight risk” in part due to his alleged ties to Russian intelligence agents and his financial resources.

If convicted in the U.S., Baratov faces up to 20 years in prison.

-With a file from Global News

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