The notorious case of Alexander Vinnick, popularly called ‘Mr. Bitcoin,’ continues to drag on after a year, and his lawyer has freshly accused the Greek Justice Department of ‘gross abuse of her client’s rights.’
Zoya Constantopoulous, Vinnick’s lawyer in response to the yearlong tussle for the alleged cybercrime suspect’s extradition to a number of countries on his tail, has slapped charges of political discrimination and bias against the Greek Supreme Court, as reported by important local Russian news outlet, TASS.
Vinnick’s Love Affair with the U.S and Europe
Alexander Vinnick was arrested in the smaller parts of northern Greece July, last year, after being wanted by a host of key countries including the United States; after being accused of fraud, money laundering, identity theft and cybercrime among a host of other charges. The 39-year-old Russian hacker was alleged to be the chief operator and possible owner of the now non-operational BTC-e exchange.
The exchange, which had little to no identification process, reportedly allowed large sums of criminal money, and illegal funds to be moved in the form of Bitcoin, with investigations tabling more than $ USD 4 billion already successfully laundered.
In a series of events that happened causatively and simultaneously, Vinnick was arrested as the sole perpetrator linking the attacks and activities together. The Russian was subsequently found to be connected to the unfortunate collapse of Japanese crypto exchange, Mt. Gox, which folded up in 2014 after losing about half a billion dollars in a well-executed hack.
Vinnick is alleged to have laundered the proceedings through his firm BTC-e and through Tradehill, another US-based crypto-exchange also allegedly owned by him. The United States Authorities would subsequently move to indict him and detained him in the Greek country since then as it entered a new tussle with France and Russia for the suspected criminal’s extradition.
France, along with Russia claims Vinnick had committed crimes against its citizens and have legally pushed for his extradition following Russia’s quick petition to extradite him to his own country. In a time that coincided with United States Investigation after the interesting discovery of Russian Hackers involvement with the 2016 mail hacks prior to US elections; the American authorities have swiftly moved towards further extradition of Alexander Vinnick to American soil.
This perhaps is what the Russian government does not want, and why Vinnick’s extradition to France is being strongly opposed. Following a final ruling by a court in Thessaloniki that ordered Vinnick’s extradition to French grounds, his wing consequently appealed against the verdict to the country’s Supreme Court.
As the case continues to taper on, Vinnick’s Lawyer recently seized an oversight by the French Authorities after they ordered files for his extradition completely in French but did not do translations in Russian. His lawyer argued:
“As of November 17, [Vinnick] did not receive an official translation of the documents of the French extradition request […] these documents were not translated into Russian, they have no seals or signatures.”
Zoya claims this oversight would not have happened if his client had been a different European citizen rather than Russian, citing political/racial secernment and a violation of Vinnick’s legal rights.
The Vinnick’s case is yet to reach a certain close, with TASS suggesting the leadership would finally have to weigh in to decide final extradition plans for the accused Russian.