Although it has been out of the news cycle in the U.S., counsel for suspected ShinyHunters member Sebastien Raoult continues to urge France to seek his client’s extradition to France from Morocco. Raoult has been sitting in a Moroccan jail since May 31 when he was picked up on a red notice from Interpol at the U.S.’s request. The U.S. seeks his extradition to the U.S. to stand trial for his alleged participation in a number of crimes.
In what seems like an astonishing abandonment of a French citizen, France has sat on its hands while the U.S. has argued that the 21-year-old should be extradited here.
As previously reported on DataBreaches, France’s refusal to seek Raoult’s extradition makes no sense at all. He and others were all allegedly conspiring and the others were arrested in France. Therefore, it seems logical that France almost certainly did have an investigation or some case that involved Raoult — even if it was an investigation at the U.S.’s request before and after Raoult was indicted in a sealed indictment in 2021. Despite attorney Philippe Ohayon’s determined efforts and arguments, France has refused to reveal what requests the U.S. made and what investigations France conducted at U.S. request because France claims that such mutual assistance is confidential. As Ohayon points out, however, exchanges and assistance do not have to be kept confidential if there are compelling reasons to disclose — such as the constitutional rights of an individual.
Ohayon’s filings suggest — and DataBreaches concurs — that if the communications and findings from the mutual assistance requests were revealed, they would likely prove that France knew about Raoult and investigated Raoult at the U.S. request, even though they now deny having any investigation or basis to open a case.
As Ohayon also argues, the U.S.’s success so far in influencing Morocco has been predicated on a claim that the crimes were committed on U.S. soil. While the victims are on U.S. soil, it appears that the crimes were committed on French soil by Raoult (if he committed them). If the U.S. claims in their affidavit and indictment linking IP addresses in France and Morocco to the crimes are accurate, then the U.S. appears to have essentially admitted that the crimes began in France and were committed on French soil. If Raoult was on Discord or xmpp making plans or discussing attacks with others, and if his IP was in France, then Morocco should extradite Raoult to France. But they can’t do that if France doesn’t request it and so far, France has obstinately refused to do that.
The U.S. has tried to portray Raoult as an important member of ShinyHunters. That claim flies in the face of what those involved with Gnostic Players and/or Shiny Hunters tell DataBreaches. To a person, they all say he was a minor player.
For his part, Raoult has now released a letter in which he claims, among other things, that his identity was misappropriated (or hijacked, depending on what translator we use), “usurped so that I could serve as a scapegoat in cybercriminal activities carried out from France, in which the FBI thinks that I would have participated.”
This week, 34 deputies of the French government signed a letter to the Minister of Justice supporting Raoult’s request that the French government seek his request to France where he should stand trial. Their full letter is embedded below in French. The following is a machine translation of part of their letter:
The acts alleged against Sébastien Raoult, a French citizen, took place on French territory. It must therefore be tried by a French court and according to French law. On August 3, in Marseille, you declared that you did not have “the possibility, at this stage, to intervene”, the Moroccan justice being “sovereign and independent”.
Since then, evidence (taken up among others by Le Monde, Libération and La Dépêche) shows that investigations into this case have been carried out on French soil and by French police officers. So you have the means to intervene.
Minister, Sébastien Raoult does not seek to evade justice. He hopes that a request for extradition will be made by the French authorities to the Moroccan authorities, in accordance with the Franco-Moroccan extradition convention of 18 April 2008; he wishes to be tried in France, respecting his fundamental rights.
If France can arrest and charge the people Raoult allegedly conspired with or committed crimes with from French soil, then justice and fairness seem to demand that Raoult be treated the same. What’s good for one should be good for all.Letter to Minister of Justice