TL;DR: The Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) reported Alexander Vinnik, who the press dubbed Mr. Bitcoin, has been denied release by a Greek court on 11 April 2019. Vinnik remains in jail, and since summer of 2017 several countries claim his operation of a cryptocurrency exchange was little more than a money laundering and fraud operation.
Alexander Vinnik Denied by Greek Court in Appeal for Release
“An appeal by Russian national Alexander Vinnik for his release from detention was rejected by a Piraeus misdemeanours court on Thursday after hearing his testimony,” AMNA revealed. Vinnik allegedly once operated BTC-e, a now notorious crypto exchange, and was arrested in Greece after US authorities issued an international warrant for his capture over claims of billions in money laundering and fraud while trafficking in bitcoin core (BTC). Both Russia and France have argued for formal extradition, though the latter has since dropped its efforts.
For three of what is now 20 months of captivity, Vinnik complicated matters by going on a hunger strike, claiming to have been framed. “My two underage children who live in Moscow are depressed, and believe that because their mother is sick, they may end up becoming orphans,” AMNA quoted his recent court testimony.
In February of this year, Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia Commissioner for Human Rights, asked the Greek government to hand over Vinnik on humanitarian grounds. “I appeal to you, Mr. Minister,” Moskalkova wrote, “to extradite Alexander Vinnik, a citizen of the Russian Federation — against whom criminal proceedings have been instituted in the Russian Federation, and who is currently in a difficult family situation and health condition — to the Russian Federation for further investigation of his case.”
According to his attorney, Zoe Konstantopoulou, he has been officially held over the standard 18 month limit for someone pending trial in the country. “I am being jailed only for my technology know-how, which threatens the sovereignty of banks and the US dollar,” Vinnik insisted.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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