Arrested Russian Bitcoin Programmer a Patsy for US Russia Witch-Hunt - Russian TV News

"Such decision are usually politically motivated" - Russian legal expert interviewed for this segment.

Thu, Oct 12, 2017
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The US is accusing him of 'laundering' $4 billion using Bitcoin, whatever that means, and wants to extradite him from Greece.

His Greek lawyers are saying that according to standard practice, he should be extradited to Russia, not the US, but that the US is able to bully international bodies into breaking the rules in its favor.

This Russian news report thinks he is a patsy for the ongoing Russia witch-hunt in the US.

(Full transcript follows below with key parts in bold.)

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Anchor:

The Russian MFA categorically opposes the extradition of Alexander Vinnik to the United States. Let me remind you that the court in Greece decided to give the Russian to the Americans. He’s accused of laundering $4 billion using cryptocurrency. Lawyers have already filed an appeal. Varvara Nevskaya will tell you what the course of events could be like.

Reporter:

The chances of being in the hands of the American justice system for the 37-year-old Alexander Vinnik, who is accused of laundering $4 billion using cryptocurrencies, have greatly increased today. The Thessaloniki court fully satisfied the US request for the extradition of the Russian.

Illias Spirliadis, Alexander Vinnik's lawyer:

"By its decision, the panel of judges of the appeal courts in Thessaloniki accepted the United States motion for extradition. They decided to turn over our client, Alexander Vinnik, to the United States. We took urgent measures and immediately appealed this decision. Now, the case will be examined by the Supreme Court of Athens. Until that time, we will wait and hope for a better outcome. We believe that there are no legal conditions necessary for the extradition of our client to the US."

Reporter:

August 18, the request for the extradition of Vinnik, who, by the way, completely denies being guilty and claims that he has never created a currency exchange and, moreover, has never managed it, but has only been a consultant, was filed by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office. At home, the man is accused of another crime.

According to the investigation, under the pretext of supplying equipment, he fraudulently stole funds worth more than 600 thousand rubles. However, Greece left the Russian request unanswered.

Yevgeny Korchago, Chairman of the Lawyers Board:

"Unfortunately, in most cases, such decisions are politically motivated. The fact is that Vinnik is a Russian citizen, and, in the presence of two similar requests, the decision should have been made in favor of his extradition to Russia, but in most jurisdictions, the United States has such an unspoken preemptive right to extradite citizens upon their requests. And, in my opinion, in this case, this is what happened."

Reporter:

Vinnik's case is already being called indicative in the community of cryptocurrency exchange players, and they see one more nuance here.

For more than a year, the US has been actively spreading news about all-powerful Russian hackers capable of hacking the Pentagon's website, and determining the outcome of US elections with equal ease, but they couldn't provide any evidence of their existence until this moment.

It's difficult to disagree that a Russian IT expert in the face of Alexander Vinnik, accused of 21 crimes, who allegedly easily and carelessly steals billions with the help of only a laptop, perfectly fits this theory.

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