ATHENS – An appeal by Russian national Alexander Vinnik for his release from detention was rejected by a Piraeus misdemeanours court on Thursday after hearing his testimony.
Alexander Vinnik, known as ‘Mr. Bitcoin’ is sought on several international arrest warrants, for economic fraud.
The countries that have issued warrants for his extradition include his homeland Russia (two warrants), the United States, and France, which is no longer pursuing its extradition request.
Vinnik, who has been held for 20 months, 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, and believe that becuase their mother is sick, they may end up becoming orphans,” Vinnik said, requesting his release.
He expressed his wish to be extradited to Russia, and said if he were sent to the United States he would never see his family again. “I am being jailed only for my technology know-how, which threatens the sovereignty of banks and the US dollar,” he claimed, adding that the bitcoin “BCT is independent of banks and governments.”
His defense lawyer, Zoe Konstantopoulou, had appealed to the court on the grounds of his health and the fact he has been held over the 18-month legal limit for detentions pending trial.