PARIS, August 4. /TASS/. The court of appeals in Paris ruled on Thursday neither to release Alexander Vinnik in France nor to extradite him to the US. The Russian national will remain behind bars until he is sent back to Greece.
Vinnik was escorted away from the court as soon as the verdict was announced.
Today’s decision was actually a formal one, as the results of a review of his dossier were announced back on Wednesday.
In July, the United States withdrew its request to extradite Vinnik it had filed with France back in 2020. Vinnik’s French lawyer Frederic Belot said the US used the maneuver to speed up the Russian’s return to Greece so that he could be extradited to the US as soon as possible.
Vinnik, a Russian IT specialist, was detained while vacationing in Greece in July 2017 at the request of the United States, where he is accused of laundering four to nine billion US dollars through a no longer existent crypto exchange BTC-e. In December 2019, Greek Justice Minister Konstantionos Tsiaras ruled that Vinnik be extradited first to France, then to the United States and finally to Russia. In December 2020, a Paris court sentenced him to five years in prison and a fine of more than 100,000 euros. Vinnik himself said back in Greece that he would agree to return to his homeland and appear before a Russian court.