Greek Court Approves Extradition of Suspected BTC-e Operator to France

Lloyd Doyle
Июля 15, 2018

The Russian news agency TASS reported that Vinnik's lawyers have been in the process of appealing to the Greek Supreme Court to drop their charges against Vinnik.

The Russian diplomats were being expelled for allegedly providing protest funding in an attempt to keep neighbor Macedonia from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Moscow has also submitted an extradition request for Vinnik, who denies his country's accusations of fraud but has consented to its extradition request.

Furthermore, Greek authorities have reportedly rejected a request for asylum by Vinnik - and unfortunately for the worldwide community the asylum request must be dealt with before the Greek courts can give a final ruling on the extradition.

The Russian Foreign Ministry indicated it was considering reprisals.

And there's more. Earlier this month, Russian authorities sent a request for Vinnik's extradition to the country to face cyberfraud. The US is behind Greece's decision to expel two Russian diplomats, a message published by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday informs.

The Greek Kathimerini daily reported on Wednesday, citing diplomatic sources, that Athens had chose to expel two Russian diplomats and ban another two from entering the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims that Russia's request to extradite Vinnik should have been given priority over France's, concluding "i$3 t is obvious that Russian Federation can not leave these actions unanswered".

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Greece's leftwing prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, repeatedly has supported efforts to improve ties between Russian Federation and the European Union.

"Greece expelled two Russian officials and barred entry of two others for attempting to interfere in Greek politics".

But Russia and Greece are at odds over Macedonia's goal to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - a prospect that hinges on the small Balkan country resolving a longstanding name dispute with Greece.

At the NATO Summit on 12 July, the 29 leaders of the Alliance invited FYROM to start accession talks, triggering a strong reaction from Russian Federation, which accused NATO of trying to "forcibly swallow" Skopje in order to expand its influence in the Balkans. Vinnik and his lawyers believe he should be tried in Russian Federation.

Last year, a Greek court ruled in favor of extraditing Alexander Vinnik, 39, the alleged former operator of BTC-e, to the United States.

French authorities are charging Vinnik with cybercrime, money laundering, membership in a criminal organization, and extortion. He remains jailed in Greece pending the final decisions on his extradition.

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