21:32 GMT02 March 2021
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    ATHENS (Sputnik) - The highest administrative court in Greece has suspended the implementation of a decision by the Justice Ministry to extradite Russian national Alexander Vinnik to the United States, France and Russia, lawyer Zoe Konstantopoulou told reporters.

    According to Konstantopoulou, the court decided that Vinnik might face danger if extradited.

    She added that he has been on hunger strike for four days.

    On 20 December, Vinnik's lawyers appealed the decision by the Greek justice minister to authorize their client's extradition to France and then to the US and Russia over money laundering charges.

    Vinnik began a hunger strike four days ago upon learning that he would be extradited. He previously went on a hunger strike for some 100 days last year in protest of the violations of his rights.

    Alexander Vinnik was detained in the summer of 2017 at the request of the US while in Greece for a vacation with his wife and two children. The US authorities accused him of laundering $4 billion worth of funds through the cryptocurrency trading platform, BTC-E. Vinnik faces $88.6 million and $12 million, plus interest and costs, in civil penalties. The charges against him were brought on behalf of the US Department of the Treasury on 25 July.

    Russia, where he is wanted for a separate fraud charge, and France also seek his extradition. Vinnik has denied committing any criminal or administrative crimes.

    In early November, Moscow provided Athens with additional materials related to the case. Following talks with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the only country Vinnik could be extradited to was Russia.

    national, extradition, US, France, Russia, Greece
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