Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights addresses a letter to Greek Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou, in order to ask him to extradite the alleged Alexander Vinnik, the former operator of now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, to Russia.
As reported by Russian news outlet TASS on Feb. 25, Moskalkova has asked the minister to extradite Vinnik to Russia, following his deteriorating health and the criminal proceedings against him in Russia. Moskalkova reportedly visited Vinnik, last week in a Greek hospital and managed to convince him to end his hunger strike. Vinnik has been on the strike from November 2018.
The letter reportedly reads:
“I appeal to you, Mr. Minister, 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.”
Vinnik has lost over 30 percent of his weight and is virtually “on the verge of death,” due to his prolonged hunger strike. Moskalkova has also addressed letters to Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Andreas Xanthos, the Greek Health Minister, and Andreas Pottakis, the Greek Ombudsman asking them to provide Vinnik with proper medical assistance following the hunger strike.
The former owner of crypto exchange BTC-e was arrested by Greek police in July 2017 under the order of the U.S. Department of Justice. Vinnik was accused of fraud and laundering as much as $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) over the course of six years by the authorities. At the time, French authorities also accused Vinnik of “defraud[ing] over 100 people in six French cities between 2016 and 2018.” Russia and France have since both sought the defendant’s extradition in regard to a further series of fraud allegations.