Russian Federation scores temporary win against USA on cybercrime suspect

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A Thessaloniki appeals court on Wednesday approved a request from Moscow for the extradition of a Russian national who is also wanted in the USA in connection with charges that he laundered 4 billion dollars in bitcoins.

On Wednesday, a different panel of judges accepted a Russian extradition request, which followed the initial USA one.

Accused Bitcoin money launderer Alexander Vinnik has scored a temporary victory in his effort to avoid extradition to the United States.

Lawyers said the final decision on Vinnik will rest with Greece's justice minister once the suspect has exhausted the process of appealing his extradition to the United States. Two separate Greek court decisions have now granted both countries' request to.

Vinnik denies all allegations but is reportedly willing to be tried in Russian Federation on lesser fraud charges.

While the Supreme Court could hear arguments in the case before the end of October, their ruling may not bring an end to the issue.

The U.S. Justice Department says that Vinnik has been indicted by a grand jury in the Northern District of California, on charges including money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.

Vinnik has lodged an appeal against last week's decision favouring the U.S. request, and that case will be heard by the Greek supreme court.

US prosecutors said Vinnik, as operator of the BTC-e exchange, "helped to launder criminal proceeds from syndicates around the world".

Vinnik was arrested in Greece in July.

The charges, if proved in court, carry maximum sentences of up to 20 years in prison.