COPA Seeks Sanctions Against Lying ‘Satoshi’ Witnesses

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  • The judge in the COPA vs Wright case has been asked to consider criminal charges against two witnesses
  • COPA argues that Stefan Matthews and Robert Jenkins lied on Wright’s behalf during the trial earlier this year
  • A decision will be taken on these matters, as well as any criminal referral for Wright and the severity of his injunction, this Friday

The judge in the COPA vs Wright case has been asked to consider criminal charges against two witnesses who gave evidence for Craig Wright in February. At a Form of Order hearing on Friday, COPA’s barrister, Jonathan Hough, asked Justice Mellor to “consider criminal investigation and prosecution” of Stefan Matthews and Robert Jenkins, who COPA argues lied on Wright’s behalf during the trial, which ended with Wright being declared as fraudulently claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Any such decisions will be made this Friday when the form of Wright’s injunction will be finalised, which will almost certainly see him banned from saying he is Satoshi and could see him also referred for criminal investigation.

Witnesses Lied for Wright

Wright’s Satoshi claim was eviscerated by Justice Mellor last month who accused Wright of forging almost 500 documents for the trial, including during the trial itself, and repeatedly lying on the stand. Worse, Wright also appears to have gotten witnesses to lie for him. Justice Mellor already cast doubt on the validity of Matthews and Jenkins’ testimony in the written ruling, arguing that Matthews had a financial incentive to back up Wright’s claim, which he did with false (and contradictory) testimony.

COPA alleged on Friday that Matthews’ conduct “represented a very bad case of perjury,” noting that he “produced a statement and came to court to tell a series of important and premeditated lies.” This was done, Hough said, “in the hopes of huge personal financial gain,” calling Matthews “a significant figure behind Dr Wright’s entire effort to advance his false claim,” adding that “a senior businessman shouldn’t be allowed to get away with clear, clinical and serial perjury to the courts of at least two countries.”

As for Jenkins, Hough argued that he was prompted to reference Timecoin, which Wright claimed was a precursor to Bitcoin. He did so at the end of his testimony, only for it to emerge that the phrase had been written down for him on a piece of paper. Hough reminded Justice Mellor that his ruling found that Jenkins “participated in a scheme to bring up false evidence deliberately in cross−examination” which he “put into effect, albeit clumsily, in re−examination.”

Hough argued that if Wright and Matthews were being “considered by the authorities,” then Wright should be too.

Injunction Will Prevent Wright From Calling Himself Satoshi

The core of the hearing on Friday was to determine the severity of the injunction against Wright, with COPA arguing that he should be prevented from publicly referring to himself Satoshi Nakamoto and should take steps to remove all references to his claim online. Wright’s counsel argued that this was impossible and that “even following the most serious criminal convictions it is unheard of to injunct a defendant from maintaining their innocence.”

Justice Mellor will rule on the severity of the injunction on Friday following a final hearing over costs when he will also rule on any criminal referral, something that, in Wright’s case, seems inevitable.