Greece decides to extradite ‘crypto-currency king’ Vinnik to France
Athens is ready to extradite the Russian citizen to Paris in an expedited manner.
The court in Greece granted France's request for the extradition of Russian Alexander Vinnik, accused of fraud with cryptocurrency. This is reported by RBC with reference to the lawyer of the programmer, Timofey Musatov.
"This decision is in line with the already existing decision to extradite Vinnik to the US, to Russia. This decision has full privilege since this issue is on a European warrant. Therefore, there is a simplified procedure," Musatov explained.
According to him, in a few weeks, the Greek court will begin to reconsider the request of the Prosecutor General's Office to extradite Vinnik to his homeland.
"We believe that the French inquiry came after US prosecutors became convinced that they would not be able to get Alexander," Musatov added.
France asked Greece to extradite Vinnik on June 27. According to the French law enforcement officers, since February 2016 Vinnik has launched the distribution of virus software Locky for extortion through electronic messages. The application blocked users' devices, then required redemption in cryptocurrency to decode the data. According to the materials of the prosecution, Vinnik may face up to 20 years in prison in case of his transfer to France.
For the time being, he is held in an isolation ward with reinforced security in Greece, where he was transferred from a general cell as the Greek authorities obtained information about the intention of certain crime lords to eliminate him. As the sources reported, the prisoner was going to be poisoned through soaking his clothes with poison.
The hacker was detained in Greece last July at the request of the United States. In the US the Russian is suspected of fraud for 4 billion dollars through the exchange for trading bitcoins BTC-e. In the US, he faces up to 55 years in prison and a multimillion-dollar fine.
The Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation also sent a request for the extradition of Vinnik, but the Russian side was denied. The Russian himself stated that he did not feel safe in the Greek prison and wrote a full confession to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office. At home, the ‘crypto-currency king’ is accused of fraud for 800 thousand rubles ($12.8 thousand).
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.