The alleged operator of crypto exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, has asked to be released on bail due to the delay in court proceedings. In early August, the Russian IT specialist was extradited to the United States to face charges of money laundering through the now-defunct coin trading platform.
Vinnik’s Defense Appeals for His Release on Bail After Months in U.S. Custody
Crypto entrepreneur Alexander Vinnik has applied for release on bail because of the delay of his trial, according to Russian media. He has been in U.S. custody for over three months but the documents required by the court have not been provided by the respective American authorities, his lawyers have pointed out.
According to information published in the Northern District of California’s federal court documents database on Friday, Vinnik’s defense team is asking for all documents pertaining to the trial to be presented within 60 days.
Alexander Vinnik believes he should be released on bail or allowed to exercise the right to a speedy trial as the U.S. government has not fulfilled its obligations after promising to provide evidence in this case, the daily Izvestia unveiled in a report quoting the appeal.
The alleged operator of BTC-e was arrested in July 2017, while on vacation in Greece with his family. He was detained on a warrant issued by U.S. authorities who accuse him, among other crimes, of laundering between $4 billion and $9 billion through the crypto exchange.
Besides the U.S., the French judiciary also wanted his extradition and Greek authorities decided to first hand him over to France in 2019. After serving a sentence there, he was returned to Greece this past summer and extradited immediately to the United States. Both French and Greek authorities have ignored extradition requests submitted by Russia.
Vinnik appeared in San Francisco federal court on Aug. 5 maintaining his innocence. Later that month, Russian media reported that he had been denied release on bail, quoting his record on the website of the Santa Rita Jail in California where he was incarcerated.
In September, his French lawyer Frederic Belot urged the Russian government to consider Vinnik in a potential prisoner exchange deal with the U.S., pointing out that the maximum sentence for Vinnik’s charges, 55 years, would amount to imprisonment for life for the 43-year-old Russian. His health has been deteriorating after solitary confinement in France and hunger strikes in Greece.