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

Alexander Vinnik is represented by a lawyer from Russia. The Russian government has been urged to talk with Washington about a possible swap of prisoner. Vinnik’s health has been deteriorating since he was held in isolation in France. He also suffered from hunger strikers in Greece.

Vinnik’s Lawyer Asks Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to Start Negotiations With Washington

Alexander Vinnik is alleged to have been the operator of BTC -e, and has been charged with laundering $4 billion using the now defunct crypto exchange. One of his lawyers has urged Russian authorities that he negotiate with Washington to add him to a possible prisoner trade deal.

Frederic Belot, a member of Vinnik’s defense team who represented him in French courts, has issued his call 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 in the letter emailed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. It declined to comment.

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

The move comes after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed in July that the American side had made Moscow a “substantial offer” for the release of U.S. citizens currently held in Russia. Brittney Griner, a basketball player, and Paul Whelan (a former Marine) are two examples.

Alexander Vinnik was taken into custody in Thessaloniki, Greece on an American warrant. After receiving several extradition requests from Russia, the Greek authorities made the decision to hand Vinnik over to France. He was recently sentenced to a five-year term for money laundering.

French authorities handed the Russian back to Greece, who quickly transferred him to America in the early hours of August. After his arrest, he was denied bail by a San Francisco federal judge. His defense had warned earlier that an extradition to America would make him a hostage of the tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Vinnik Suffers Memory Loss from Prolonged Isolation in French Prison

Frederic Belot stated that Alexander Vinnik repeatedly denied, and still denies all of the accusations against him. According to the lawyer, 43-year old Russian suffered partial memory loss after being held in France in isolation. This was according to psychiatrists.

The U.S. Department of Justice describes the crypto exchange allegedly owned and operated by Vinnik, BTC-e, as a “significant cybercrime and online money laundering entity” which provided services to criminal actors. On the basis of his criminal charges, he can be sentenced up to 55 year imprisonment. “This term for Alexander is tantamount to life,” Belot warned.

Reuters remarks that Russia has repeatedly indicated it’s involved in “quiet diplomacy” with the U.S. regarding a prisoner swap. Denis Dubnikov – a 29-year old Russian citizen who co-founded the coin trading platforms Coyote Crypto & Eggchange – was also recently extradited to America. The accused is accused of laundering ransomware in cryptocurrency in support of cybercriminals that are targeting US hospitals.

This story contains tags
Alexander Vinnik, Belot, BTC-e, Crypto, crypto exchange, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Exchange, Frederic Belot, Lavrov, lawyer, Money Laundering, prison, prisoner, prisoner exchange, prisoner swap, Russia, russian, Sergei Lavrov, vinnik

Are you optimistic that Russia and America will come to an agreement on exchanging prisoners? Comment below.

Lubomir Tatsev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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