On Day 2 of Granath vs. Wright in Norway, CoinGeek’s Kurt Wuckert Jr once again went on a live stream edition to keep us abreast of what’s happening inside the Oslo courtroom.
What’s at stake in this case?
Wuckert briefly recaps the events that led to this case and explains what it’s all about. He explains how Magnus Granath, operating under the alias HODLonaut, created the Lightning Torch tipping game on Twitter, gaining him lots of followers.
Using his newfound fame, Granath then used his platform to launch a campaign labeling Dr. Craig Wright a fraud. This series of events led to the defamation case—with Dr. Wright as the defendant—being heard in Oslo, Norway.
"We aren't to determine whether Craig is a fraud. WE ARE HERE TO SEE IF GRANATH HAS DEFAMED WRIGHT."
— Kurt Wuckert Jr 🟡 GorillaPool.com (@kurtwuckertjr) September 13, 2022
If the judge rules that Dr. Wright was defamed, he will be awarded damages worth as much as 100,000 NOK. If it goes the other way, Dr. Wright will have to pay Granath’s legal fees.
Ultimately, this is about court precedent, Wuckert explains. He also highlights how Dr. Wright’s legal team has offered to settle multiple times, but Granath has refused. He also reminds us that Granath is the plaintiff, suing Dr. Wright for doxxing him and allegedly violating his rights.
A quick recap of Day 1
Wuckert says that he isn’t entirely satisfied with the play-by-play he gave of Monday’s events in court, so he begins by recapping it again.
“Magnus Granath is very hard to read,” he says, pointing to Granath’s stoic disposition. Wuckert describes him as “emotionless” and his attorney as “cold,” stating that they went an hour over their allotted time.
“It was scattershot,” Wuckert says, describing Granath’s narrative as “loose.” He says that even he was confused by it, and he is immersed in this story, so for newcomers, it must have been extra confusing. “She might as well have been reading an Arthur Van Pelt article,” he says, noting how a lot of what Granath’s attorney read out was simple internet gossip and rehashed information most people have already read online.
Moving on to Day 2 proceedings
Having noted how monotone and scattershot Granath’s attorneys were, Wuckert contrasts this with Dr. Wright’s legal team, who presented on Tuesday, September 13. “He’s jovial and comes across as capable, kind, and warm,” he says.
Wuckert explains how Halvor Manshaus gave an impassioned speech about how free speech is so important. He used this to explain to the judge that free speech comes with responsibility and that the press has special responsibilities to the public.
— Stop Cyberbullying (@StopWebBullying) September 13, 2022
Manshaus pivoted from this to blaming Granath for cyberbullying and encouraging a culture of bullying against Dr. Wright from behind the so-called anonymity of an avatar. “He had a command of the room, and there was a very clear shift in the tone,” Wuckert says.
From here, Manshaus moved on to Granath’s tweets. Wuckert noticed a visible change in Granath’s behavior at this point. He was suppressing a smirk and nodding as his derogatory tweets were read aloud.
Wuckert then goes on to explain that lots of screenshots from Telegram groups and elsewhere were shared that showed systematic targeting of BSV and Dr. Wright. These were extremely toxic, and Manshaus used this to demonstrate the culture of bullying he was condemning.
As the truly toxic nature of Granath’s campaign became apparent, his posture changed, Wuckert explains. He stopped smirking and smiling and began to lean back, take deep breaths, and adopt defensive body language.
About Craig Wright
After a break for lunch, the story switched to Dr. Wright and what he has been through for the last several years. He explained how Dr. Wright was outed against his will and how several parties conspired against him to blackmail him for money.
Manshaus then went into a long story of how Dr. Wright’s privacy was undermined, how his property was threatened, and his family had to deal with the whirlwind of events. This left him damaged and unable to face the press and the world with the sort of grace some would have expected.
As well as speaking of Dr. Wright’s personal life, Manshaus laid out in detail the entire saga of Dr. Wright, proving he was Nakamoto to Gavin Andresen, including some of the emotions involved.
In this story, it transpired that Dr. Wright was dealing with some anxiety about unequivocally proving he was Bitcoin’s inventor and was encouraged by his wife, Ramona Watts, to do so. Wuckert feels that this story humanized Dr. Wright and the other participants, such as Stefan Matthews, who were visibly relieved when he finally went through with it.
Manshaus hammered home another interesting point in that Gavin Andresen was not entirely convinced by cryptographic proof alone. In fact, he stated that had this been the only line of evidence he was shown, he would not necessarily have believed that Dr. Wright was Satoshi. This has interesting implications about what does and does not constitute proof. “Keys aren’t identity,” Wuckert explains, driving home the point Dr. Wright has been making for years.
As all of this was being explained, Wuckert says he noticed Granath’s posture and body language change to something more like nervousness.
Turning to the supposed doctored evidence and data Dr. Wright has been repeatedly accused of presenting, Manshaus explained how many of these documents were stolen, scanned, changed, and altered. One of them was even a scan of a type-written document. The attorney used this to explain why some of the metadata does not add up. It is this bad evidence, he said, that has been used by many to mistakenly decide that Dr. Wright is a fraud.
Manshaus wrapped up the day by explaining that there will be more witnesses who tell Dr. Wright’s story and that they’re going to take the case all the way.
Questions and Answers
Wuckert then takes some questions from the audience.
Q. Will this trial nullify the U.K. case?
It could do, Wuckert says. In any case, it will be precedent-setting and will have some impact on how that case turns out should it go ahead.
Q. What were the questions that the judge asked during the history explanation?
Wuckert recalls that she wanted clarification on keys. He does not recall the other question she asked.
Q. The attorney said this isn’t about proving CSW is Satoshi but is about proving whether he was defamed. Is this a change of strategy?
Wuckert answers that it is not a change of strategy. It is just the plaintiff’s lawyers saying that this court case can’t prove that he is. However, Manshaus made the point that, Satoshi or not, Granath is still breaking the law by defaming people.
Q. Will Dr. Wright or Granath take the stand?
Wuckert replies that they will both take the stand at some point on Wednesday, September 14.
Q. If Dr. Wright wins this case, what will change?
Wuckert says it depends on how he wins, but the main thing will be how much evidence is now on the record officially. It could also put COPA on the back foot and make Kraken and Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) take a second look at the passing off of BTC as Bitcoin.
The trial is expected to wrap up on Thursday, September 22. CoinGeek will be providing daily coverage live from the trial in Oslo.
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