As per November 23rd reports by Russian state-owned news outlet TASS said that Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national who was arrested for laundering millions of dollars on now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e has revealed that his defense will be to go on a hunger strike.
The head of the group of lawyers representingVinnik, Timofey Musatov said that the reason for was hunger strike was because “he [Vinnik] was stripped of the right for defense in France and, consequently, in Greece,” and noted that, “it became clear that the [French-issued] European arrest warrant expired.”
Musatov has also accused the judge of the Greek Supreme Court of ignoring him and his team:
“The Greek Supreme Court’s judge completely ignores the work of lawyers who cannot even file a petition. She does not give them an opportunity to speak or do it.”
The lawyer then went on to say that without a fair trial, Vinnik would surely be deported to the United States, which would result in him getting something close to a life sentence.
In 2017, Greece’s supreme court had passed a ruling to extradite Vinnik to the U.S., where was to face charges of money laundering and fraud while in June, a Greek court ruled to extradite Vinnik to France. According to TASS reports the Greek Supreme Court has however postponed the ruling about Vinnik’s extradition to France to November 29th as TASS reports, as opposed to November 19th as was originally scheduled.
According to Musatov, it was this situation that had led toVinnik taking steps to ensure a fair trial and clarified that his defendant “understood that he does not have any other options and decided to go on a hunger strike on Monday in protest against this situation.” Vinnik came to this conclusion when his gree lawyer, Zoe Konstantopoulou, during the November 19 court session said that “the court would not treat any citizen of an E.U.member country or Greece as it treats Alexander just because he is a Russian national.”