Greek court rules for extradition of Russian hacker Vinnik to USA
The Russian man faces up to 55 years in prison and a fine of $12 million.
The Thessaloniki Council of Judges ruled to satisfy the US request for the extradition of Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik on 4 October, RIA Novosti reported. The US authorities accuse Vinnik of laundering $4 billion through the BTC-e website he had created, as well as of hacking Mt.Gox, the Japanese bitcoin exchange.
The Greek court stated that the hacker’s lawyers could appeal against the verdict within 24 hours. According to Vinnik’s lawyers, they would have to appeal to the Supreme Court of Greece, Areopagus. The defense noted that the charges brought by the US authorities feature no evidence that the crimes were actually committed.
Vinnik claimed that he had nothing to do with the BTC-e. "I am neither its owner, nor its manager, or accountant. I am a technical expert, an independent technical expert. It was just one of my clients," the accused said at the beginning of the session.
Earlier it was reported that the Russian authorities demanded Vinnik's extradition to Russia, where he is accused of Swindling on a large scale (part 3 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to investigators, he had an agreement with a commercial firm to supply equipment and disappeared having taken an advance payment of 600 thousand rubles ($10.400). On September 27, the Ostankinsky court in Moscow ruled to arrest him in absentia. Igor Ashmanov, the founder of Ashmanov & Partners and the husband of Kaspersky Lab co-founder Natalia Kasperskaya, offered Vinnik a lawyer.
According to the international law, Russia has a priority right to return its citizens. Vinnik also said he preferred this option.
The law on limitations and restrictions of anonymizers and VPN services, which obliges them to block websites banned in Russia, has been in force for three months already. However, not a single service has performed it yet.