Norwegian Twitter troll Magnus ‘Hodlonaut’ Granath found a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking after seriously annoying the court overseeing his legal fight with Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig Wright.
On Thursday, the Olso District Court issued a ruling granting a postponement in the proceeding Granath initiated against Dr. Wright in 2019. The main hearing that was scheduled for January 2022 will now be held at an unspecified future date.
Granath had pre-emptively sought a ‘negative declaration’ from the Oslo court that his tweets referencing Dr. Wright—including one calling Wright “a very sad and pathetic scammer. Clearly mentally ill.”—weren’t defamatory. Granath has continually mocked Dr. Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin and author of the Bitcoin white paper.
Granath’s Norwegian filing—which was made without prior notice to Wright—was intended to insulate him from the defamation suit that Wright had announced he would file in the U.K. Granath’s attorneys hoped that the Lugano Convention’s rules regarding simultaneous proceedings in two jurisdictions would eliminate the possibility that Granath would have to deal with Wright on the latter’s home turf, where courts view defamation as no trifling matter.
But the English Court of Appeal issued a ruling in January that the two cases were sufficiently distinct to permit the U.K. action to proceed. The ruling also meant that Granath was forced to pay the costs of Wright’s appeal, which as of February totaled a hefty £210,000.
Thursday’s Oslo ruling came as a result of Granath’s legal team recently dumping 3,768 pages of documents—including a new 350+ page expert witness report—it apparently intends to use as evidence in the upcoming hearing. Wright’s legal team cried foul, arguing that there was insufficient time in which to wade through this mountain of paper.
Judge Helen Engebrigtsen wholeheartedly agreed with Wright’s team, saying “the court cannot see that the need for an expedient trial surmounts the defendant’s ability to prepare the case and be given the opportunity to contradict the evidence.”
Engebrigtsen threw shade at Granath’s disingenuous gambit, noting that the court had set a June 25 deadline for his team to produce any additional evidence. Referencing the mid-December document dump, Engebrigtsen observed that “none of the material is newer than October 2021, and most of the material is significantly older.” Engebrigtsen added that Granath’s team had provided no explanation for this blatant attempt to fudge its deadlines.
That June 25 deadline also applied to calling any new witnesses, yet Engebrigtsen said Granath’s team hadn’t mentioned anything to the court about any new expert report, nor anything regarding plans to call expert witnesses from KPMG to testify on Granath’s behalf.
Granath’s team asked the court to reject the Wright camp’s request for postponement of the January hearing but Engebrigtsen said a delay was “necessary in order for there to be a fair trial.” Engebrigtsen dismissed the Granath team’s crocodile tears regarding the “great strain” that this case is apparently placing on their client’s finances. After all, Granath is the claimant in this case, so maybe don’t tweet checks your butt can’t cash.
Predictably, Granath launched a pre-emptive public spin on the ruling, tweeting that Wright “saw our evidence, and unable to defend it he requested to have the trial postponed.” The ‘strain’ must really be getting to Granath, as he still hasn’t grasped that legal cases aren’t decided on social media.
There’s a Christmas tradition in Norway in which kids go from house to house singing carols and getting candy. Some childless adults do likewise, only with empty cups that they hope the residents will fill with alcohol. So if you see a cartoon cat staggering up to your doorway, by all means fill him up with Akevitt—he’s got precious little else to celebrate this holiday.
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