Cyprus Court Drops Money Laundering & Fraud Charges In Lawsuit Against Defunct BTC-e Operator
A Lawyer operating behalf of Alexander Vinnik, an alleged former operator of the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, has made the statement that a district court in Court within Cyprus has officially withdrawn a lawsuit which operated under the charges of “of fraud, money laundering, and other crimes.” This was reported by RIA Novosti, the state owned Russian news agency as of November 27th.
Speaking on behalf of Vinnik, and as the head of the lawyer's group representing him, Timofey Musatov stated that the Limassol city district court had formally accepted the petition by the plaintiff to recall their lawsuits against Vinnik. The plaintiff went on to rule that it would move “to compensate the defendant for all legal costs incurred by him.”
“The case against Alexander collapsed at an early stage and, importantly, at the initiative of the plaintiffs themselves, which clearly indicates the weakness of the accusatory component against Alexander, the vulnerability of the legal position of the plaintiffs and their unwillingness to bring the case to open legal proceedings.”
While this took place, this withdrawal of charges by the plaintiff does not mean that the case against him has officially been closed. An example of this comes from Greece now considering extending an appeal for a request by France for the extradition of Vinnik, a citizen of Russia. The next court session is scheduled Nov. 29, RIA Novosti reports.
This would be the latest in a line of extradition petitions which the Greek government has faced in recent memory. In 2017 for example, the Greek Supreme Court ruled that it would extradite Vinnik to the USA, where he faces charges of money laundering and fraud.
Back in July, the Greek court had also went on to rule that it would allow the extradition of Vinnik to France under charges of fraud and money laundering, all of which reportedly involving a total of up to $4 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC), according to news sources.
This autumn, Russia also made a similar extradition request to the Greek court for Vinnik to face charges there. These include several charges of cyber fraud. As of September 4th, The Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece ruled in favor of Russia, which places the final location with which Vinnik will be extradited to unclear at this moment in time.
It was made clear by Musatov earlier this week that his client will be going on a hunger strike which will start on November 26th. According to Vinnik, this is to act as a form of protest to the alleged ‘stripping of his rights for defense in both France and Greece.