NEWS

Greece backs extradition of Russian to US over bitcoin fraud

TAGS: Justice, Crime

A Greek court ruled Wednesday to extradite Russian cybercrime suspect Alexander Vinnik to the United States, where he is wanted in connection with a $4 billion bitcoin fraud case.

The three-member panel of judges backed the US extradition request for the 37-year-old, who was arrested while on vacation in northern Greece on July 25.

Vinnik has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, and was expected to do so later Wednesday.

Russia is also seeking Vinnik’s extradition on separate fraud charges, but no date has yet been set for that hearing.

While fighting his extradition to the US, Vinnik’s lawyers said he would not contest the Russian request.

US authorities accuse Vinnik of running digital currency exchange BTC-e and of involvement in laundering money from criminal proceeds, charges he denies.

Speaking during Wednesday’s hearing, Vinnik repeated that he had nothing to do with the digital platform he is accused of running to commit the bitcoin fraud. He said he was merely a technician and the platform was one of his clients.

“I have nothing to do with what I am accused of,” he told the judges.

Vinnik said electronic equipment confiscated during his arrest was not related to his job, and that the laptop seized by police contained only cartoons for his children.

[AP]

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