France Rejects Russian Request to Extradite BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik – Bitcoin News

Judicial authorities in France have refused to grant the extradition request filed by Russia for Alexander Vinnik. According to the Russian Ombudsman, Vinnik is now ready to start a new hunger strike despite his health deteriorating after spending almost four years in detention.

Court Case Against Vinnik Continues in France

The operator of the infamous BTC-e crypto exchange was recently sentenced to five years in prison and fined €100,000. Quoted by RIA Novosti, Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova said that Moscow’s request to extradite Alexander Vinnik has not been granted on Thursday and that the consideration of the case continues.

In December 2020, the Paris Correctional Court found Vinnik guilty of money laundering but dropped extortion charges against him as well as those related to his alleged involvement with the Locky ransomware.

France Rejects Russian Request to Extradite BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik

Alexander Vinnik was arrested while on vacation with his family in Greece, in July 2017. He was detained on a warrant from the U.S. where he is accused of laundering up to $9 billion through the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e.

The Russian IT specialist spent 30 months in Greek custody without charges being filed, for which he went on a hunger strike that lasted almost three months. He is now ready to begin a new strike, Moskalkova revealed, quoted by TASS.

Alexander Vinnik’s Health Deteriorates

Referring to accounts from his defense and Russia’s consular service in France, the Ombudsman told Russian media that despite Vinnik’s “depressed health,” he is again ready to start protesting with a hunger strike. The human rights commissioner added that she was not aware of any suicide attempts by Vinnik but quoted his lawyer describing the prisoner’s psychological state as very poor. Moskalkova stated:

We hope that he will have the wits and courage to continue to fight for his rights in an active manner.

Tatyana Moskalkova also expressed regret…

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