Lawyer of Alleged Crypto Launderer Vinnik Calls on Russia to Talk Prisoner Swap With US

Lawyer of Alleged Crypto Launderer Vinnik Calls on Russia to Talk Prisoner Swap With US

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by Lubomir Tassev
A lawyer representing Russian IT specialist Alexander Vinnik has urged the federal government in Moscow to debate a possible alternate of prisoners with the US, the place he was lately 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.
One of many attorneys of Alexander Vinnik, alleged operator of BTC-e who has been accused of laundering over $4 billion via the now defunct cryptocurrency alternate, has urged Russian authorities to barter including his shopper to a doable prisoner swap take care of 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 Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov, Reuters reported on Monday after seeing the correspondence.
“Now the one factor that may save Alexander is for the Russian Federation to enter into negotiations with the American authorities throughout the framework of the alternate of prisoners between the international locations talked about,” Belot stresses within the letter emailed to the Ministry of Overseas 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 provide” for the discharge of U.S. residents at present held in Russia. Amongst 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 season 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 lately served a five-year sentence for cash laundering.
French authorities returned the Russian to Greece which rapidly transferred him to the US 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.
Frederic Belot emphasised that Alexander Vinnik has repeatedly denied and continues to disclaim all the fees in opposition to him. The lawyer insisted that after his imprisonment in solitary confinement in France, the 43-year-old Russian suffers from partial lack of reminiscence as a result of stress of isolation, as established by psychiatrists.
The U.S. Division of Justice describes the crypto alternate allegedly owned and operated by Vinnik, BTC-e, as a “vital cybercrime and on-line cash laundering entity” which offered companies to prison actors. He can now obtain as much as 55 years in jail, primarily based on the fees in opposition to him. “This time period 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. One other Russian citizen lately 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 focusing on hospitals in the US.
Do you suppose Russia and the U.S. will attain an settlement to alternate prisoners? Inform us within the feedback part under.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Japanese Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a author is what I’m, relatively than what I do.” Moreover crypto, blockchain and fintech, worldwide politics and economics are two different sources of inspiration.

Picture Credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Pictrider
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