US and Moscow both want to extradite Alexander Vinnik, 38, but minister of justice will decide
A judicial appeals court in Thessaloniki, Greece, has backed Moscow’s extradition request for Russian citizen and suspected Bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik, The Greek Observer reports.
Last week a Thessaloniki court ruled he should be extradited to the US, a decision he is challenging at Greece’s supreme court.
Vinnik was arrested in Greece in July. The US suspects he led a $4bn money laundering scheme on the now-closed BTC-e exchange, while Russia suspects him of 667,000-rouble ($12,000) fraud, the Associated Press reports.
Vinnik denies all allegations but is reportedly willing to be tried in Russia on lesser fraud charges.
Once the supreme court appeal is complete, Greece’s minister of justice will ultimately decide which extradition to accept.
While the US Department of Justice told us this week Vinnik’s extradition is legal under the US-Greek extradition treaty, Russia disagrees and believes its request should be given precedence. ®