Two main witnesses in ElcomSoft trial denied US visas

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Two main witnesses in ElcomSoft trial denied US visas

The US government is facing a significant hurdle in its case against Russian software company ElcomSoft as two of the main witnesses have been denied visas to come to the US.

Lawyers for both sides were scheduled to meet at a pretrial conference, but discussions were stranded because the US Embassy in Moscow denied visa applications for ElcomSoft employee Dmitry Sklyarov and company chief executive officer Alex Katalov.

"We are working with the State Department and the Department of Justice on this issue. Obviously, not having Dmitry and Alex here in the US is a problem for both sides," ElcomSoft immigration attorney Marina Serebryanaya said.

The trial is the first time criminal charges will be taken to trial under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Moscow-based ElcomSoft is being charged under the Act for developing and distributing a software program that allows users to circumvent copyright protections in Adobe Systems's eBook file format.

Sklyarov and his employer were indicted last year after the programmer gave a presentation on the software at the Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas. Sklyarov was briefly sent to jail but released amid public backlash. Criminal charges against him were later dropped in exchange for his agreement to co-operate in the case.

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