A lawyer representing Russian IT specialist Alexander Vinnik has urged the federal government in Moscow to focus on a possible change of prisoners with the United States, the place he was not too long ago extradited. The French authorized knowledgeable is satisfied solely a return to his homeland might save Vinnik who has deteriorating well being after solitary confinement in France and starvation strikes in Greece.
Vinnik’s Lawyer Asks Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to Start Negotiations With Washington
One of the legal professionals of Alexander Vinnik, alleged operator of BTC-e who has been accused of laundering over $4 billion via the now defunct cryptocurrency change, has urged Russian authorities to negotiate including his shopper to a potential prisoner swap cope with Washington.
Frederic Belot, a member of Vinnik’s protection group who represented him in French courts, has issued his name in a letter addressed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Reuters reported on Monday after seeing the correspondence.
“Now the only thing that can save Alexander is for the Russian Federation to enter into negotiations with the American authorities within the framework of the exchange of prisoners between the countries mentioned,” Belot stresses within the letter emailed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. The division declined to remark.
The transfer comes after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed in July that the American aspect had made Moscow a “substantial offer” for the discharge of U.S. residents at present held in Russia. Among them, basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.
Alexander Vinnik was arrested on a U.S. warrant in 2017, within the Greek metropolis of Thessaloniki the place he arrived on a summer time trip together with his household. After reviewing a number of extradition requests, together with one from Russia, Greek authorities determined to first hand him over to France the place he not too long ago served a five-year sentence for cash laundering.
French authorities returned the Russian to Greece which rapidly transferred him to the United States in early August. Then he appeared in a federal courtroom in San Francisco and was reportedly denied launch on bail. His protection had warned earlier that an extradition to America would make him a hostage of the tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Vinnik Said to Suffer From Memory Loss Due to Prolonged Isolation in French Prison
Frederic Belot emphasised that Alexander Vinnik has repeatedly denied and continues to deny all the fees towards him. The lawyer insisted that after his imprisonment in solitary confinement in France, the 43-year-old Russian suffers from partial loss of reminiscence due to the stress of isolation, as established by psychiatrists.
The U.S. Department of Justice describes the crypto change allegedly owned and operated by Vinnik, BTC-e, as a “significant cybercrime and online money laundering entity” which offered providers to prison actors. He can now obtain up to 55 years in jail, primarily based on the fees towards him. “This term for Alexander is tantamount to life,” Belot warned.
Reuters remarks that Russia has repeatedly indicated it’s concerned in “quiet diplomacy” with the U.S. relating to a prisoner swap. Another Russian citizen not too long ago extradited to America, the 29-year-old co-founder of coin buying and selling platforms Coyote Crypto and Eggchange, Denis Dubnikov, has been accused of laundering ransomware funds in cryptocurrency on behalf of cybercriminals concentrating on hospitals within the United States.
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