ATHENS, July 30. /TASS/. A court in the Greek city of Thessaloniki has granted the second request for the extradition of Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik, filed by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, Vinnik’s Greek lawyer Ilias Spirliadis told TASS.
"The court has ruled to extradite Alexander Vinnik to Russia. We filed a request that Alexander be released from custody and put under house arrest but the request was rejected. We now plan to file an appeal against it," the lawyer said.
As for the court’s decision to extradite Vinnik to Russia, the lawyer noted that the defense and Vinnik himself were satisfied with it. "Alexander is ready to be extradited to Russia, he has always wanted it," Spirliadis stressed.
Vinnik was detained in Greece on July 25 at the US request, where he is accused of laundering four to nine bln dollars through the now non-existent BTC-e cryptocurrency trading platform.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office twice requested that Vinnik be extradited to Russia as Russian investigators believe that from January 1, 2016, to June 14, 2018 he was involved in extortion and money laundering in France as part of a criminal group. However, Vinnik has never been to France and has remained in custody in Greece since the summer of 2017.
In October 2017, the Thessaloniki court ruled to extradite the Russian to the United States but his defense attorney filed an appeal against this decision. Later, the same court granted France’s request for Vinnik’s extradition but the defense filed an appeal with the Greek Supreme Court, which plans to consider the possibility of Vinnik’s extradition to France on September 4.
The Thessaloniki court was to consider Russia’s second extradition request on July 23 but the hearing was postponed until July 30 at the defense's request.