Greek court rules for extradition of Russian hacker Vinnik to USA

05 October, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • Greek Court Backs Extradition of Alleged Bitcoin Exchange Operator to US                          Oct 4 2017 at 10:30 UTC by Rachel Rose O'Leary

A Greek tribunal has given the go-ahead for the extradition of Russian cybercrime suspect Aleksandr Vinnik to the United States, where he is wanted in a $4 billion bitcoin-fraud case.

Michael WuenschThe panel of three judges ruled 37-year-old Vinnik's extradition to the USA amidst another extradition request from Russian Federation on separate charges.

The U.S. and Russian Federation have both put in extradition requests for Vinnik, who has reportedly asked to be returned to the Kremlin over the U.S. In the U.S., Vinnik could face up to 55 years in prison.

Alexander Vinnik is accused by of using BTC-e - a digital currency exchange - to launder more than 4 billion dollars of proceeds from computer hacking and drug trafficking.

Vinnik, a 37-year-old Russian national, has been indicted by a US grand jury on 21 counts related to financial crimes. While Vinnik denies those charges too, he consents to being returned to Russian Federation. Along with his direct denial of the charges, he claimed he was just a technician uninvolved in the operations of BTC-e, and the laptop confiscated during his arrest merely housed cartoons for his children.


Vinnik, who rejected charges, said he had right to appeal by taking decision to Supreme Court of Greece.

In the event that the Supreme Court upholds the decision, Greece's justice minister will have the final say over whether Vinnik's extradition to the U.S. can go ahead, or whether his transfer to America needs to be blocked in favour of Russia's request.

US authorities also linked him to the failure of Mt. Gox, a Japan-based bitcoin exchange that collapsed in 2014 after being hacked.

"We have faith in the Greek justice system and a long road ahead of us", the Reuters news agency quotes Xanthippi Moisidou, one of Vinnik's lawyers, as saying.

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