New twist in Russia regarding Bitcoin. According to a recent statement from the press office of the court in St. Petersburg, a verdict of a case dating back to 2018 was delivered, which confirmed the compensation for victims of theft, but noted that the return of the cryptocurrencies, in this case, 99.7 BTC, can not be done.
“Cryptocurrency is not a crime against property, due to the lack of a legal status, it is not possible to recognize it as an object of civil law, this type of virtual money does not fall into any of the categories and is not a recognized means of payment on the territory of the Russian Federation”.
The case dates back to 2018 when two criminals pretended to be agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and kidnapped a person by extorting 5 million Russian roubles, about $90,000, as well as 99.7 bitcoins (BTC).
A few days ago, the court in St. Petersburg sentenced the criminals to 8 and 10 years in a maximum-security prison and compensated the victim for the damage suffered, with about 850 thousand roubles in addition to the restitution of the 5 million roubles.
However, as stated earlier, the court of Russia has not been able to order the return of the bitcoins, as they are not properly regulated and, ultimately, their ownership cannot be asserted.
The judgment certainly sets a precedent because, in this case, not only was there a crime related to the extortion of crypto, but it also explains how control by a governmental body is useless when talking about a decentralized asset like bitcoin.
At this point, the only chance to get the funds back from the victim may be to exploit the civil ways and try to find justice but, as the court has confirmed, these types of assets have no legislation and therefore traditional rules do not apply.