Day 1 of Satoshi Trial Norway

CoinGeek Livestream Special recaps Day 1 of Satoshi Trial Norway

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September 12 was Day 1 of the Granath vs. Wright trial in Norway. CoinGeek’s Kurt Wuckert Jr. was in Oslo, and, as with previous trials, he’s doing a daily roundup after court ends.

A quick summary of the story

Wuckert begins by summarizing the situation for those who may not be familiar with the trial and the story behind it. He outlines how BTC supporters see things very differently than BSV advocates, and describes how Granath defamed Dr. Wright, using his Twitter presence to brand him a fraud.

Dr. Wright asked Granath to retract his statements and delete the tweets. Granath did delete them, but he did not retract the statements because he truly believes that Dr. Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wuckert points out something important about this trial: Granath is the plaintiff. He’s aiming for the home turf advantage, saying he’s being picked on and targeted by billionaires with an agenda.

The proceedings: Day 1

Wuckert begins by describing the setup of the courtroom; he found the Norwegian court setup much different from that in the United States. Naturally, proceedings are done in Norwegian, so Wuckert needed a translator.

He says that day one was all about Granath’s team laying out the opening of their case. Wuckert noted how they presented in a conservative manner in keeping with Norwegian culture.

Wuckert was impressed with Granath’s female attorney, whereas he wasn’t hugely impressed with the male one. He’s unable to say their names because they weren’t introduced as they would be in the United States. “She brought the energy considerably when she came to the microphone,” he says.

Who is Magnus Granath?

Wuckert begins with a brief description of Granath. He recalls how he was found out because he has Japanese Yakuza-style tattoos up and down his arms. However, when he showed up today, Wuckert didn’t recognize him because he had dark hair, a beard and was dressed simply and conservatively.

Wuckert recalls how the attorney presented Granath as a well-liked school teacher. He found this strange, considering how unpleasant his interactions had been on Twitter.

Rehashing what most already know

Wuckert describes the first day of court as largely rehashing what most who follow the Craig Wright saga already know. There were lots of emails that were already presented in Kleiman vs. Wright, such as those between Dr. Wright and the late David Kleiman.

There wasn’t a lot of new information to cover. Anyone who is familiar with Dr. Wright’s story should know this already. However, he recaps it anyway for those who may not know.

In 2008 Dr. Wright was friends with David Kleiman. They wrote white papers together. Dr. Wright owned a cybersecurity firm in Australia as well as several other businesses and entities. They were writing papers on various computer science subjects and were attempting to sell them to the U.S. government. They formed a company called W&K Information Defense for these purposes.

Dr. Wright started working on Bitcoin while working for the auditing firm BDO. He was also freelancing in the casino industry and doing several other things. His work made him dislike money launderers, and some of his clients needed a good payment solution. He theorized Bitcoin around 2005-2006 and started working on it.

In 2009, the Bitcoin Genesis block was constructed, and Bitcoin began to take off. In 2013, Kleiman died at the same time as Dr. Wright was having problems with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) due to Bitcoin-related tax deductions and claims.

After Kleiman’s death, Dr. Wright reached out to his family and told them he had a part to play in Bitcoin. Kleiman’s older brother Ira was reached out to by the ATO and started to cooperate with them. Shortly thereafter, Wired and Gizmodo magazines outed Dr. Wright and David Kleiman as the inventor of Bitcoin.

Many people didn’t like the idea that Dr. Wright invented Bitcoin. This is because he supports the idea of big blocks and Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system rather than digital gold.

Ira Kleiman ended up suing Dr. Wright in 2018. This ushered in the current era of lawsuits. The trial started in November 2021, and Dr. Wright was found not guilty on 13 of the 14 claims.

Recently, Dr. Wright won a defamation case against podcaster Peter McCormack. This takes us to the current day, with Magnus Granath insisting that Dr. Wright is lying about being Satoshi Nakamoto.

Questions and answers

Q. What are both sides trying to achieve?

Wuckert explains that Granath sued Dr. Wright so that he could avoid having to fight the case in the United Kingdom. He’s trying to say Dr. Wright is harassing and targeting him. There’s also an element of attempting to score bonus points with the BTC community. For Dr. Wright, this is about setting his legacy straight and making sure everyone understands the truth.

Q. Does Craig have the burden to prove he is Satoshi in this case?

Wuckert answers this directly and plainly. “No, the attorneys were very clear that this is not a requirement,” he says. He can do it that way, but it’s not the only way to go about it. However, he has been waiting for a chance to prove he is Satoshi in court, and he wants this information on the record. He says he doesn’t know if Dr. Wright will prove he is Satoshi or not this time.

Q. What’s the approximate schedule? How long will the trial run?

The trial runs until the end of next week. A decision could be made in days or weeks. It’s entirely up to the judge.

Q. Why doesn’t Mr. Satoshi just move his coins?

Wuckert explains that Dr. Wright saw the negative reaction when he only privately proved he was Satoshi to a handful of key people in the Bitcoin community. He believes it could be much worse when he proves it beyond any doubt. Also, he has a financial incentive to leave it a partial mystery—he holds a lot of bitcoins. Wuckert also speculates that he might not have total control of the keys.

Q. What kind of witnesses can we expect in the coming days?

Wuckert says that there will be some interesting witnesses. On the plaintiff’s side, KPMG will be testifying as to the authenticity of various documents. On Dr. Wright’s side, he thinks Stefan Matthews will be the most interesting witness.

Q. How was Dr. Wright’s composure today? How was he?

Wuckert says that Dr. Wright looked good. He walked together with him to court, where they joked around, and he seemed in a good mood.

Q. Who has to prove what in this case? Have any lawyers quit?

Wuckert says nobody is likely to quit at this point. It looks like Granath will move forward with the truth defense. Dr. Wright is looking for 100,000 NOK (approximately $10,000 USD) in damages. Granath just wants the whole thing to go away, and he has to prove that the defense is the bad guy in this case.

Q. What can we expect going in tomorrow?

Wuckert says that Day 2 of the Satoshi Norway Trial is Dr. Wright’s attorney’s chance to present his case. He reminds us that he’ll be reporting it live on Twitter.

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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