An appeal by Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national suspected of orchestrating a 4 billion dollar fraud, for his release from detention was rejected by a Piraeus misdemeanours court Thursday after hearing his testimony.
Vinnik, known as “Mr Bitcoin,” is sought on several international arrest warrants. The countries that have issued warrants for his extradition include his homeland Russia (two warrants), the United States, and France – which is no longer pursuing its extradition request.
Vinnik, who has been held for 20 months, has been on a hunger strike for several weeks to protest his detention, which he said was a result of being framed by a fellow Russian.
“My two underage children who live in Moscow are depressed, and believe that because their mother is ill, they may end up becoming orphans,” Vinnik told the court as he appealed for his release.
Vinnik said his wish was to be extradited to Russia, adding that if he were sent to the US he would never see his family again.
“I am being jailed only for my know-how technology, which is a threat to the sovereignty of banks and the US dollar,” he said.
Vinnik’s lawyer, Zoe Konstantopoulou, had appealed to the court on the grounds of poor health and the fact her client’s detention has exceeded the maximum period of 18 months. [ANA-MPA]