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  • Only justice minister can block Vinnik extradition

    Russian national Alexander Vinnik, indicted in the US over a $4 billion bitcoin money laundering case, will be extradited to the US after the Greek Supreme Court upheld an appellate court ruling, unless the justice minister blocks it.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team

    The only thing that can block the extradition of Alexander Vinnik to the US is a possible decision by Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis, after the Greek Supreme Court approved an American extradition request.

    A US jury in July indicted Vinnik of laundering more than $4 billion dollars through his BTC-E bitcoin digital currency platform. The money allegedly derives from an array of illegal activity, including drug trafficking, and was laundered by Vinnik.

    Vinnik denies all charges, claiming he was merely a technician working on the bitcoin platform.

    Greece’s Areios Pagos, the Supreme Court, was called upon to decide the case on appeal, after a Thessaloniki Appellate Council on 29 September had approved the US extradition request.

    The Russian Consul in Thessaloniki was reportedly present in the courtroom for the appellate trial.
    The entire affair was further complicated when Russia, after the US request, issued an extradition request for the 38-year-old.

    Moscow claimed that Vinnik had been involved in a 10,000 euro fraud case, in which he received the deposit for merchandise that was never delivered.

    Vinnik had agreed to be extradited to Russia.

    Vinnik was arrested under an international arrest warrant in Thessaloniki last July, while vacationing with his family.

    The extradition request and his arrest was one of many US operations against Russian cyber criminals in Europe. Russian hackers have been accused by top US officials of tampering the 2016 US presidential election.

    International