Greece Opens Criminal Investigation Against Russia's Vinnik - Lawyer

© AP Photo / Giannis PapanikosA Russian man identified as Alexander Vinnik, center, is escorted by police officers to the courthouse at the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017
A Russian man identified as Alexander Vinnik, center, is escorted by police officers to the courthouse at the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 - Sputnik International
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ATHENS (Sputnik) - The prosecutor's office of the city of Thessaloniki has launched a criminal probe against Russian national Alexander Vinnik, who was arrested in Greece in July 2017 at the request of the United States, Vinnik's lawyer Timofey Musatov told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"The criminal probe against Vinnik has begun. In accordance with the Greek legislation, a preliminary investigation will take place, followed by a decision whether a criminal case should be initiated," Musatov said.

According to the lawyer, two investigators of the Greek financial police arrived on Wednesday at the Diavata prison in Thessaloniki and announced that Vinnik will be questioned in connection with the start of the criminal proceedings against him.

A Russian man identified as Alexander Vinnik, center, is escorted by police officers to the courthouse at the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 - Sputnik International
Russian Citizen Put on Int'l Wanted List Over Embezzling $11.9Mln – Source

READ MORE: Greek Supreme Court Rules to Extradite Detained Russian Citizen to Russia

Vinnik was detained in Greece in July 2017 at the request of the US authorities on various charges, including laundering $4 billion through bitcoin cryptocurrency exchange BTC-E, which was allegedly headed by Vinnik. The exchange has said that the Russian national had never been engaged in its activities. The suspect himself has denied the US accusations.

Vinnik is also wanted for separate fraud and money-laundering charges in Russia and France.

READ MORE: Greek Court Tried to Speed Up Extradition of Russia's Vinnik to France — Lawyer

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