A Greek court backed the extradition of a Russian citizen to Moscow, who also faces an extradition request by the United States on allegations of laundering billions of dollars in bitcoin.
Alexander Vinnik; the suspected mastermind of a $4 billion bitcoin laundering ring, is one of seven Russians arrested or indicted worldwide this year on U.S. cyber-crime charges.
Judges ruled last week that he should be extradited to the United States, a decision Russia criticised as unjust and illegal and which Vinnik is challenging at Greece‘s supreme court.
Should it decide to uphold the ruling to extradite him to the United States, the final decision is in the hands of Greece‘s justice minister, who can approve extradition to one country and block the other.
Vinnik denies all charges against him, but he has agreed to be returned to Russia where he is to be tried on lesser fraud charges.
In the United States; where he faces up to 55 years in prison, Vinnik is accused of running BTC-e – a digital currency exchange used to trade bitcoin – to facilitate crimes ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking since 2011.
The final ruling over his extradition will be given after a supreme court hearing, which is expected within the next three weeks.