Satoshi Trial Draws to a Close

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  • Witness testimony concludes in the COPA vs. Wright trial with Craig Wright facing fresh allegations of forgery
  • Wright is set to return to the stand following the discovery of a potentially fraudulent email
  • The trial will see a one-week gap for parties to prepare closing arguments after Wright’s testimony

Witness testimony draws to a close today in the COPA vs. Wright trial, the UK High Court trial where Craig Wright hopes to gain a ruling that will allow him to be legally anointed as Bitcoin’s creator. Wright is due back on the stand to face allegations of forgery that arose on Monday when a clearly fraudulent email from Wright’s wife, Ramona Watts, was discovered in the possession of Wright’s former law firm, Ontier. Following Wright’s recall there will be a gap of one week while the parties work on closing arguments, which will take place from March 12.

Accounting Data Under the Microscope

Wright’s cross-examination by COPA was due to have concluded on February 23, but on Monday his counsel revealed that Ontier had submitted an email that differed in content from one Wright had claimed supported an argument over the date on which the law firm received certain crucial login details.

The issue revolves around accounting data from one of Wright’s former companies, Wright International Investments, from 2010 which he claims shows transfers of early bitcoins between addresses, a claim he is using to back up the idea that he was handling vast amounts of bitcoins in those early days.

Wright claims that Ontier received login details for the MYOB software in 2019 as part of preparations for the Kleiman vs. Wright case, but Ontier told COPA that it only received the logins on March 9, 2020. More damning is the fact that forensics experts found that the crucial entries into the database were made on March 6-7 by someone using Craig Wright’s logins and backdated to 2010. Wright has tried to blame the late entries on software updates altering the dates in question.

A New Forgery?

On Monday, Wright’s barrister, the seasoned courtroom veteran Lord Grabiner, produced a letter from Ontier to Wright’s current law firm, Shoosmiths, which stated that Watts had sent them an email forwarding an email chain purportedly from December 2, 2019, which included the MYOB logins being sent to Ontier.

However, Ontier tracked down the original email and found that the chain provided by Watts featured one email that had totally different content to the email on their servers, suggesting that one of the chains had been manipulated. To Wright skeptics, this was an extraordinary case of Wright either faking evidence, which is one of the allegations COPA has put to him, in real-time.

Wright to Play Blame Game?

We don’t yet know how Wright will try and get out of this particular mess, although his typical method of doing so is to blame incompetent associates or attorneys or hackers. He has already said under oath that Ontier has reason to lie about him to the court, suggesting that the law firm is willing to risk its reputation in order to spite him, and it is likely that he will stick to this line of reasoning, without any proof at all.

Following the conclusion of Wright’s cross-examination there will be a break of a week before oral closing submissions begin the week after.