The battle on the merits of Dr. Craig Wright’s defamation claim against Roger Ver is far from over.
The English Court of Appeal has granted the nChain chief scientist permission to appeal the High Court’s jurisdictional ruling, which struck out Dr. Wright’s claim. CoinGeek understands that the appeal is expected to be heard in the second quarter of 2020.
On July 31, 2019, Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that England and Wales is not clearly the most appropriate jurisdiction for Dr. Wright to bring his claim for defamation against Roger Ver. Wright’s claim was made in response to a video on Bitcoin.com’s YouTube channel in which Ver declared that “Craig Wright is a liar and fraud. So sue me. Again.” The video was taken down after a follower pointed out that posting libelous material is a civil and criminal offense in Japan, where Ver is currently based.
Wright has been on a pursuit of justice against those who claim he is a fraud for stating that he is the man behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Currently, separate defamation proceedings against podcaster Peter McCormack and Magnus ‘Hodlonaut’ Granath are also ongoing before the English courts. The High Court heard Granath’s jurisdiction challenge application in December 2019, and judgment is expected in early 2020.
In Wright’s defamation claim against Roger Ver, Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that “the court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the action,” a procedural setback since the judgment focused on whether England and Wales was clearly the most appropriate place in which to bring the claim. Mr Justice Nicklin’s ruling did not address the merits of Wright’s claim—whether Ver committed libel by calling Wright a fraud.
Wright remains undeterred, hence the appeal so that he can reach a decision on the merits. Ver, meanwhile, has been trying to avoid the case by arguing that U.S. is a more appropriate jurisdiction even though he has already renounced his U.S. citizenship and is neither domiciled nor a resident in the country.
Wright is seeking £100,000 in monetary damages as well as an undertaking restraining Ver from making further allegations that the nChain chief scientist was dishonest when he claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
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