The alleged former operator of defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, has threatened to embark on an hunger strike on Monday.
This was made known by his lawyer, Timofey Musatov, to Russian state-owned news outlet TASS. He said the reason for denying himself food is because “he [Vinnik] was stripped of the right for defense in France and, consequently, in Greece.”
He also noted that “it became clear that the [French-issued] European arrest warrant expired.”
It would be recalled that in 2017, Greece’s supreme court ruled to extradite Vinnik to the U.S., where he faces charges of money laundering and fraud. However in June, 2018, a Greek court ruled to extradite Vinnik to France. The Greek Supreme Court discussed Vinnik’s extradition to France on Nov. 19, but postponed the ruling to Nov. 29.
More so, Musatov is accusing the judge of the Greek Supreme Court of ignoring him and his team, he said: “The Greek Supreme Court’s judge completely ignores the work of lawyers who cannot even file a petition. She does not give them an opportunity to speak or do it.”
“if there is no fair trial, he will inevitably be deported to the United States through France, where he will get something close to a life sentence, which equals death,” he added.
Futher more, while clarifying Vinnik’s reason for the hunger strike, he said; “after observing this situation, Alexander realized that he would either get a fair trial or die.”
The head of the team of lawyers also explained that his defendant “understood that he does not have any other options and decided to go on a hunger strike on Monday in protest against this situation.”
According to Musatov, Vinnik came to this conclusion when his Greek lawyer, Zoe Konstantopoulou, “openly” said during the Nov. 19 court session that “the court would not treat any citizen of an E.U. member country or Greece as it treats Alexander just because he is a Russian national.”
She is also accusing the Greek Supreme Court of violating her defendant’s rights by failing to provide translations of court documents at his request.