The misdemeanors court of Piraeus has rejected an appeal for release from detention on behalf of the Russian national Alexander Vinnik, also known by his nickname ”Mr. Bitcoin.”
Vinnik is currently the target of several international arrest warrants for the crime of economic fraud.
The countries which have issued warrants for his extradition from Greece include his homeland of Russia, with two warrants, as well as the United States and France.
However, French prosecutors are no longer pursuing their extradition request.
Vinnik, who has been held for twenty months in Greece, has been on a hunger strike for over three months to protest his detention, which he said was a result of being framed by a fellow Russian.
“My two underage children who live in Moscow are depressed, their mother is sick, and they may end up becoming orphans,” Vinnik said, in his request for release.
He expressed his wish to be extradited to Russia, and said that if he was sent to the United States, he would never be able to see his family again.
“I am being jailed only for my technology know-how, which threatens the sovereignty of banks and the US dollar,” Vinnik claimed, adding that the bitcoin “is independent of banks and governments.”
His defense lawyer, who is also the former Speaker of Greece’s House, Zoe Konstantopoulou, had appealed to the court on the grounds of his ill health and the fact that he has been held over the 18-month legal limit for detentions in Greece, before a trial is held.
With information from AMNA