Russia scores win against US on bitcoin fraud suspect in Greece
A Greek court backed the extradition to Moscow of a Russian citizen who also faces being sent to the United States on allegations of laundering billions of dollars in bitcoin.
Alexander Vinnik, the suspected mastermind of a $4 billion bitcoin laundering ring, is one of seven Russians arrested or indicted worldwide this year on U.S. cybercrime charges.
Judges ruled last week that he should be extradited to the United States, a decision Russia criticized as unjust and illegal and which Vinnik is challenging at Greece’s supreme court.
Should it decide to uphold the ruling to extradite him to the United States, the final decision is in the hands of Greece’s justice minister, who can approve extradition to one country and block the other.
Vinnik denies all charges against him. But he has agreed to be returned to Russia where he is to be tried on lesser fraud charges.
“That is his wish - to be extradited to Russia and to give his account before the Russian judicial authorities,” the lawyer leading Vinnik’s defense, Alexandros Lykourezos, said after the ruling in Thessaloniki.
"The supreme court hearing is expected within the next three weeks," Reuters cited Lykourezos as saying.