06:45 GMT26 January 2021
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    PARIS (Sputnik) – Russian national Alexander Vinnik, who had been held in Greece since 2017 and is wanted by the United States and France on money laundering charges, has been transferred to a different hospital in Paris and is in very bad condition, Vinnik’s lawyer Zoe Konstantopoulo said.

    On Thursday, after a two-year legal debate, Vinnik was extradited from Greece to France. He was transferred from a hospital in Greece to Hotel-Dieu hospital in Paris.

    "He was forbidden to communicate with anyone - he could not warn me, he could not talk to his family. He was taken and transported to France without carrying out the necessary extradition procedures. This is a very, very serious violation of not only human rights, but also the rule of law guaranteed by the state," Konstantopoulo said on Saturday.

    The lawyer tried to meet with Vinnik at the Hotel-Dieu hospital in Paris but could not find him there.

    "He ended up at a different hospital, where I was not even allowed to enter, to contact him. He is in France for the first time, he does not know the language and does not understand why he is here. He is deprived of all communication with his lawyer and is in great stress. He has been on a hunger strike for over 30 days. His body is very weak, he must not be subject to such stress and inhumane treatment," Konstantopoulo stressed.

    Vinnik’s lawyer finally got to meet with her client on Saturday.

    "He is in very bad condition, both psychologically and physically," Konstantopoulo said, adding that Vinnik has not received any document confirming and outlining accusations put forward against him.
    "The observance of the rule of law and human rights is under big question here," Vinnik’s lawyer said.

    Vinnik was detained in Greece in 2017 at the request of the United States, which accuses him of laundering $4 billion worth of funds through a cryptocurrency trading platform. France also filed charges against Vinnik, however, his lawyer claimed that it was only a ploy to have him extradited to the US. Russia has submitted a separate extradition request. Vinnik has denied committing any criminal or administrative offences.

    Vinnik’s lawyer Ariane Zimra said on Friday that a French liberty and custody judge will decide on the issue of Vinnik’s pre-trial detention on January 28.


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