- Craig Wright scored a ‘victory’ over Peter McCormack yesterday by winning on all counts of his libel trial
- However, the award was for just £1 as the judge savaged Wright for presenting an entirely fallacious case as to the harm he had endured
- Wright was accused of relying on a “deliberately false case and evidence” for three years
Craig Wright has once again been castigated by a judge for filing false testimony, as he scored a pyrrhic victory over Peter McCormack which left his reputation in tatters. Mr Justice Chamberlain called out Wright’s “deliberately false case as to serious harm” while awarding him a paltry £1 in damages from the What Bitcoin Did host’s. Wright had sued McCormack in 2019 over repeated claims that Wright wasn’t Satoshi, but it was revealed in May that his entire case was a work of fiction and that none of the damaging events he said took place actually did.
McCormack Invited Lawsuit
The case dates back to 2019 when Wright went on a lawsuit spree, targeting various persons in the cryptocurrency world who claimed he was a fraud. These included Adam Back and Vitalik Buterin, cases he quietly dropped before they could get anywhere, as well as McCormack.
Wright’s claim against McCormack centred around 10 tweets and a livestream interview, in which McCormack claimed that Wright was a fraud and all but invited a lawsuit. Wright obliged, claiming that his reputation had suffered “serious harm” as a result of the tweets and the livestream, with conference organisers allegedly pulling him from speaking spots after learning about McCormack’s claims.
Wright Lied About Conference Engagements
McCormack’s defence was that if Wright could independently prove himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto then he would concede the case. However, Wright refused and the case went to court, where it emerged just days before the trial that Wright had comprehensively lied about the reasons for the conference rejections – the papers he submitted in order to try and obtain conference spots, including several sent before McCormack’s tweets, were all rejected by blind peer review, with some getting the lowest possible score.
Other reviewers accused Wright of plagiarism (not for the first time) and using an abstract from one paper in another. This tore Wright’s claim that he was “trying to forge an academic career in England” to shreds in a trice, and led to Wright pulling the entire accusation, and all 10 conferences, from his claim just days before he was due to appear before the judge, claiming he believed foreign conferences didn’t count.
“Vague and Unimpressive ” in Court
Amazingly, Wright doubled down on many of his claims in court, but this didn’t fool the judge, who eviscerated Wright in his ruling yesterday:
The Court concluded that Dr Wright’s original case and evidence had been deliberately false.
That view was reached on the basis of Dr Wright’s oral evidence and a combination of: (i) the
circumstances in which the case on serious harm was pleaded, (ii) the extent to which that case – and the evidence contained in the first witness statement – were subsequently shown to be false; (iii) the timing of Dr Wright’s third witness statement (in response to the new evidence exposing the falsity of his earlier case); (iv) the vague and unimpressive oral evidence given by Dr Wright in support of his new case at trial; and (v) the lack of any adequate or convincing explanation for the falsity of the original case and evidence.
Despite ruling that the evidence supporting it was fake, Justice Chamberlain nevertheless ruled that “each of the Publications caused serious harm to Dr Wright’s reputation” and ruled in favour of Wright on all counts. However, he also added that had the lies been detected earlier then the case would have been tossed much earlier, and said that given Wright’s perpetual lying in the case “it would be unconscionable for him to recover more than nominal damages” and awarded damages of £1, slightly less than the $100,000 he was seeking.
PR Team Tries to Spin Another “Victory”
While Wright may have claimed the technical victory, the world now knows just how much of a serial liar he is, with the story making headlines in major publications. His PR team tried to spin the result, saying that it kept up Wright’s 100% court record (which it doesn’t) and that his Asperger’s diagnosis meant his evidence came across wrong. The lawyers were also blamed for not presenting the evidence properly.
The irony of the case is that Wright brought it on himself and had two chances to win it – once with a default judgement, which he refused to do because he “knows how much a default judgement is worth”, and once when his legal team made a mistake with some timestamps on evidence at a crucial moment.
McCormack Could Pursue a Perjury Charge
While Justice Chamberlain stopped short of accusing Wright directly of perjury, it seems that he could be punished for his false claims by being hit with the costs of the case on both sides. McCormack also has the chance to press charges of perjury and send Wright to prison, although whether he will want to go through something like this again is doubtful.
Either way, while Wright’s camp are spinning this as the win it technically is, everyone outside that cluster realises that £1 victory and accusations of lying by a judge are not exactly reputation-enhancing results.
Wright faces Hodlonaut in court in Norway next month for the next of his defamation lawsuits.
Good luck, Craig, Looks like you might need it.