Greek court rules for extradition of Russian hacker Vinnik to USA

Faith Castro
October 5, 2017

According to appeal of court in Thessaloniki, U.S. extradition request for Russian citizen Aleksandr Vinnik was approved. Authorities suspect he was ringleader and responsible for alleged laundering activity since 2011.

The court has not yet set a date for Vinnik's hearing about his request to be extradited to Russian Federation on lesser fraud charges, according to the report.

Each of the accused faces a maximum punishment of more than 50 years in federal prison if convicted on all counts - an outcome made increasingly likely after the courts recently rejected extradition requests filed by Russian Federation and agreed to send the accused stateside pending appeal.

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"We have taken immediate action and appealed the ruling and the case will be examined by the criminal division of the Supreme Court", Vinnik's lawyer Alexandros Lykourezos said. The US authorities accuse Vinnik of laundering $4 billion through the BTC-e website he had created, as well as of hacking Mt.Gox, the Japanese bitcoin exchange.

On July 26, 2017, the day after Vinnik's arrest, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) levied a $110 million fine against BTC-e for violations of American anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

On Wednesday, Vinnik told judges, "I have nothing to do with what I am accused of", The Washington Post reported. Instead, Vinnik claims he was simply a technical consultant and BTC-e was one of his clients. "If a Greek court rules that a Russian national is guilty, the issue must be solved between Russia and Greece", Ordzhonikidze said, adding that the United States exerts political pressure on the Greek authorities, including the judiciary, as well as on the authorities of all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states.

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