Dmitry Sklyarov, the Russian Programmer arrested by the FBI in July and detained in the US under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998, will be home for Christmas. Today, US Federal Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte signed the order approving a Diversion Agreement for this mild mannered Russian intellectual. The agreement will ultimately release Dmitry from all criminal charges, but more immediately this agreement allows him and his family to return to their homeland, Russia. In a statement on the proceedings, lead attorney John Keker expressed his views on today's agreement: "With this agreement, Dimitry gets everything he could get from an acquittal, and more. The indictment will be dismissed eventually, he gets to tell his story truthfully without pressure from the government, and he gets to go home now, rather than wait in the US while the case is fought. We are pleased with the result, and look forward to ElcomSoft's eventual acquittal."
Dmitry, relieved and pleased about the outcome, is not opening up the vodka just yet - "Until I'm in Russia, it is too early to say that I'm happy. But this agreement looks like [the] first significant change in my situation for last five months, [my] first real chance to get home."
In today's agreement, Dmitry will be required to testify for the government and ElcomSoft expects him to testify for their case as well. The story Dmitry has to tell is exactly the same regardless of which side calls him to testify. Dmitry's story has not changed since that day in July, when the FBI arrested him in Las Vegas, and he is quite happy to tell his story again and again, if need be.
ElcomSoft, the Russian Security Software Development Company indited under the same DMCA charges and Dmitry's employer, is thankful for the outcome of today's proceedings. CEO Alex Katalov is quick to point out "ElcomSoft has always made Dmitry's welfare it's highest priority - we are very pleased that there has been a solution that minimizes the risk for Dmitry and allows him and his family to return to Russia." When asked about today's decision and the effect it could have on ElcomSoft's case, Katalov replied "this decision actually liberates us from worrying about Dmitry going to jail - now [that] this risk is removed, the company can pursue its own defense more aggressively."
Joe Burton, lead attorney for ElcomSoft, reacted to today's outcome saying "I want to make a statement on behalf of ElcomSoft, my client. Both my client and I have, since the beginning of this case, maintained Dmitry's innocence on any and all criminal activity. From day-one of the arrest ElcomSoft has been willing to have the Government proceed against them and NOT Dmitry". Burton further states, "you may remember that ElcomSoft offered to take Dmitry's place and substitute the company as the sole defendant in this case. The company knows that neither Dmitry nor they committed any criminal acts and believes that in the end, they will be found innocent of any and all charges the U.S. Government is bringing against them as well."
The case continues with one exception, its unwitting hero, Dmitry Sklyarov, is no longer detained in the U.S. and his thoughts are now on his family his career and the upcoming holiday season in his homeland, at last.