Russian Alexander Vinnik, accused of laundering $ 4 billion to $ 9 billion through the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange, will be taken from a French prison back to Greece on August 21.
This was reported by his mother, Vera Vinnik. In December 2020, a Paris court found the Russian programmer guilty of money laundering, sentencing him to five years in prison and a fine of € 100,000. At the same time, Vinnik was cleared of charges of using the Locky malware to carry out cyberattacks with the aim of extortion. Vinnik’s lawyers appealed the verdict, and in May the court began considering the appeal. On June 24, the Court of Appeal overturned the imposed fine, but the money laundering charges remained in force, as did the sentence.
“He will be released from a French prison on August 21, about a month and a half later. He has already been given the necessary papers. But he will not be brought to Russia, but to Greece, where the same nightmare will begin again. He will again be taken to all prisons. Alexander and I have a trusting relationship. I know that he did not commit any illegal actions neither in Greece, nor in France, nor in the United States, from where all these delusional accusations began, ”said the mother of the accused.
Vinnik has been in custody since July 2017. He was arrested in Greece at the request of the American authorities. Vinnik’s defense believes that he has the right to early release, and insists on his complete innocence. In addition, according to the Greek constitution, it is forbidden to keep a person in prison without a court order for more than 18 months. Vinnik was in a Greek prison without trial for about 30 months, which violates the laws of the country.
In December 2019, the Minister of Justice of Greece began to prepare documents on the transfer of Vinnik from Greece to the United States, and then to Russia. However, in January 2020, Vinnik was forcibly taken from a Greek hospital to France, despite his poor health. Vinnik’s lawyers have not found out on what basis he will be extradited to Greece again.