PARIS, August 4. /TASS/. France has extradited Russian national Alexander Vinnik to Greece, his French lawyer Frederic Belot told TASS.
"Alexander Vinnik has just been sent to Greece," he said.
Belot believes that Greece will soon extradite the Russian to the United States based on an arrest warrant issued by a San Francisco court.
Earlier on Thursday, the Investigative Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeals ruled that Vinnik should be extradited to Greece. The French court also upheld the United States’ request to dismiss its extradition request.
"Still, he wasn’t released," the lawyer said, adding that the US move to formally drop the extradition request was a distraction trick aimed at stepping up the extradition process.
Vinnik, a Russian IT specialist, was detained in Greece in July 2017 at the request of the United States, where he is accused of laundering $4-9 bln through the no longer existing 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. In Russia, he is charged with embezzlement of over 600,000 rubles ($9,800) and computer fraud worth 750,000 mln rubles ($12.2 mln).