On Monday, the Paris Court of Appeal detained the Russian Alexander Vinnik, who was extradited from Greece to France and accused of a number of cybercrimes. The defense, given the serious illness of the accused, offered to release him under house arrest.
At a meeting in the Palace of Justice on the island of Cité, Alexander Vinnik’s lawyers, emphasizing numerous violations of the procedure during his extradition from Greece and detention in France, asked to change the terms of the preventive measure and postpone the consideration of the case until the defenders manage to meet for discussion dealing with your client - they have still been deprived of this opportunity.
“We want to ensure that Alexander Vinnik is kept pending consideration of his case under human conditions and with the opportunity to communicate with relatives and lawyers, we prefer house arrest and are ready to consider release on bail,” lawyer Zoe Konstantopulu told Kommersant.
The head of the consular department, counselor of the Russian embassy in France, Alexei Popov, confirmed to Kommersant that they are ready to assist in the release of Mr. Vinnik under house arrest. For this purpose, the embassy is ready to provide him with an apartment that does not have diplomatic status, and let him install the necessary equipment in it so that the contents of the Russian citizen comply with the rules of French justice.
The prosecutor proposed to conduct the case behind closed doors, but objections by lawyers, especially the Greek defender Zoe Konstantopoulou, forced the court to open the hearing.
However, the judge rejected the lawyers' request to postpone the case, offering the defense to hold an hour-long meeting in the consultation room with Alexander Vinnik. This opportunity was provided simultaneously to all three lawyers: Frenchwoman Ariadne Zimra, Greek woman Zoe Konstantopulu and Russian Timofey Musatov.
The mother of Alexander Vinnik, Vera Vinnik, who came from Moscow, who was present in the hall, said she was disappointed with the attitude of European justice to her son. “I rely only on God,” she added.
As a result, the defense was denied a change in the preventive measure.
Alexander Vinnik, recall, was detained by the Greek authorities in one of the resorts in the summer of 2017. His extradition sought both the authorities of France and the United States.
The first considered him one of the organizers of a large-scale money extortion fraud using the special Locky program, which could encode the victim’s personal data without their knowledge, and for their unlocking a certain amount in bitcoins had to be paid. In total, hackers led by Alexander Vinnik allegedly managed to earn up to € 130 million.
The American authorities, who were the first to issue an arrest warrant for Alexander Vinnik, consider him also involved in a number of cybercrimes, in particular in the hacking of the Japanese exchange Mt. Gox, and the total damage caused by it is estimated at an astronomical amount from $ 4 billion to $ 9 billion. Moreover, all the money went through the VTS-E cryptocurrency exchange used by Alexander Vinnik.
Extradition of Mr. Vinnik, as Kommersant informed, was also sought by the Russian security forces, who at first accused him of fraud of 600 thousand, and then immediately of 750 million rubles. Greek courts granted the requests of all three countries, but extradited Mr. Vinnik to France, from where he could be sent to the United States.