Greek court orders extradition to France of Russian Bitcoin suspect


The ruling appears to resolve a legal tug-of-war in which the court also had to consider rival extradition requests from Russia and the United States.


FILE: In this file photo taken on 4 October 2017 Russian Alexander Vinnik (C) is escorted by police officers as he arrives at a courthouse in Thessaloniki. Picture: AFP

ATHENS – The Greek Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the extradition to France of Russian Alexander Vinnik, who headed the Bitcoin exchange BTC-e, on suspicion of money laundering, judicial sources said.

The ruling appears to resolve a legal tug-of-war in which the court also had to consider rival extradition requests from Russia and the United States.

Vinnik has been held in custody since his arrest in July 2017 at the northern Greek tourist resort of Halkidiki.

In an October 2017 ruling, the court accepted the extradition request from Moscow, having earlier favoured the US request.

But on Wednesday it decided he should instead be sent to France since Paris had submitted a European Arrest Warrant against him that offered a more direct procedure, one of the sources said.

The French warrant says Alexander Vinnik had defrauded more than 100 people in six French cities between 2016 and 2018.

BTC-e, founded in 2011, became one of the world’s largest and most widely used digital currency exchanges.

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