The alleged operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, Alexander Vinnik, has terminated his hunger strike more than 80 days after he started the protest against his detention in Greece. Vinnik’s condition is serious and he needs specialized medical attention to recuperate.
Russia’s Ombudsman Visits Vinnik in Hospital
The Russian-born IT specialist took the decision to temporarily stop the hunger strike after meeting with Russia’s ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova. She visited him on Thursday in a Greek hospital, where he is placed under doctors’ care, and later shared the news with journalists.
Moskalkova told Russian media that Vinnik looks absolutely exhausted by the hunger strike and requires professional medical care. “From the last conclusion of the doctors in February, it is quite clear that he needs emergency help, otherwise he may die,” she warned.
Alexander Vinnik and Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova
Alexander Vinnik has been in detention since July 2017 when he was arrested in Thessaloniki on a U.S. warrant. Prosecutors in the United States believe he is one of the owners of BTC-e and accuse him of laundering between $4 billion and $9 billion through the crypto trading platform, including funds presumed stolen in the Mt Gox hack.
The Russian national went on hunger strike on Nov. 26, 2018 to protest prison conditions and violations of his rights to a fair trial as well as what he believes is an unlawful detention. The Greek constitution states that citizens should not be in preliminary detention for more than one year. As an exception, the court may extend the period by another six months.
Vinnik Kept in Prison Longer Than the Law Allows
Alexander Vinnik has been in prison for 18 months,