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Top Greek Court Backs Extradition Of Russian Cybercrime Suspect To U.S.

A police officer escorts Aleksandr Vinnik (right) as they arrive at Greece's Supreme Court in Athens earlier this week.

Greece's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's decision to extradite Russian cybercrime suspect Aleksandr Vinnik to the United States.

The Supreme Court rejected Vinnik’s appeal on December 13, but a final decision on whether Vinnik will be extradited to the United States or Russia now lies with the Greek justice minister, who steps in to resolve competing requests.

Vinnik, who is also wanted in Moscow, is sought by the United States for allegedly masterminding a $4 billion bitcoin money-laundering scheme, a charge he denies.

A court in Thessaloniki ruled in favor of the U.S. extradition request in October.

Vinnik has agreed to be returned to Russia, where he is wanted on lesser fraud charges amounting to 10,000 euros, and appealed the ruling.

He was arrested in Greece in July under a U.S warrant.

U.S. authorities accuse Vinnik of laundering bitcoins through the BTC-e digital currency exchange to facilitate crimes ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking.

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters and AP