20:29 GMT12 April 2021
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    ATHENS (Sputnik) - An attempt to kill Russian national Alexander Vinnik, suspected of money laundering in the United States, has been prepared because of the possibility of his extradition to Moscow, Vinnik's lawyer said in an interview with Sputnik.

    "We can analyze the reasons [behind the assassination attempt] by different ways. Alexander has told 'I know too much and a lot of people in Russia would be embarrassed if I am back home.' It is likely that this attempted murder has been prepared taking into account the opportunity of his return to the country. No one has believed in it before," Timofey Musatov said, answering a question about the reasons behind the planned assassination.

    The lawyer also claimed, that Vinnik had prepared a statement, which contained information harmful to both the Russian investigation and Alexander. "There are people, who do not want him to return to Russia and wish him death," Musatov said, adding that the defense made a lot of efforts to ensure that Vinnik won't be extradited to the US, but would stand trial in Russia, as he wanted to cooperate.

    READ MORE: US Intelligence Continues to Seek Russian National Vinnik's Extradition — Source

    "He said the following: I want, in any circumstances, that my activities or my crimes are investigated in Russia. If I am guilty, I must be punished. I will cooperate with the investigation. I want to be in Russia under any circumstances, "- quoted the lawyer the words of Vinnik.

    Earlier in May, a source familiar with the matter told Sputnik that the Greek law enforcement agencies had uncovered a plan to kill the Russian citizen.

    Vinnik was detained in Greece in July 2017 after the United States accused him of laundering between $4 billion and $9 billion on a bitcoin trading platform. He faces up to 55 years in prison in the United States if convicted


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