Greek Court Accused of Violating the Rights of Alleged Btc-e Operator, Postpones Hearing
The judges at the Greek supreme court have been accused of violating Alexander Vinnik’s rights. The alleged Btc-e operator has been detained in Greece since July last year. The hearing against his extradition to France has also reportedly been postponed.
Alexander Vinnik, who allegedly operated the former cryptocurrency exchange Btc-e, has been detained in Greece since July last year. He was accused by the U.S. of laundering $4-9 billion through the exchange.
His attorney, Zoe Konstantopoulou, told a court session on Monday that the judges of the Greek supreme court “have blatantly breached the rights” of the Russian national, Tass wrote. The session was to appeal against the ruling of Vinnik’s extradition to France.
Konstantopoulou was quoted as saying: “You have violated the rights of Alexander Vinnik, who hasn’t received an official translation of the French request by November 17 … those documents haven’t been translated into Russian, they have no seals and signatures … You only employ this practice towards Vinnik because he is a Russian. You wouldn’t do this with any Greek, or EU citizen.”
A Sputnik correspondent reported from the court on Monday that the hearing for the appeal of Vinnik’s extradition to France has been postponed until Nov. 29.
The Charges and Extradition Requests
Vinnik was detained in Greece on July 25 last year on a warrant issued by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). A grand jury in the Northern District of California indicted Vinnik and Btc-e for operating an unlicensed money service business, money laundering, and related crimes. “The indictment alleges that Vinnik obtained funds from the hack of Mt. Gox and laundered those funds through various online exchanges, including his own Btc-e and a now defunct digital currency exchange, Tradehill, based in San Francisco, California,” the DOJ wrote.
After Vinnik was detained, Russia sought his extradition. France also sent a similar request in June and Greece is pressing criminal charges against him, Tass conveyed. In May, he allegedly confessed to charges of fraud and money laundering.
Vinnik, however, told the news outlet that he was only a technical expert at Btc-e. “I gave some advice to that platform. That’s not a crime, and the exchange itself is not a crime, it is just a platform for exchanging cryptocurrency,” he claims.
Furthermore, the New York Times reported that Vinnik is accused of operating Btc-e at a time when American prosecutors say “hackers used such funds to finance the electronic break-in at the Democratic National Committee and other targets.”
What do you think of Vinnik’s case? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, the DOJ, AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, and AFP/Sakis Mitrolidis.
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