APPEAL word on wooden blocks

Granath v Wright: Craig Wright appeals verdict in Norway defamation trial

Dr. Craig Wright is appealing last month’s Granath v Wright verdict, according to a statement released by Schjødt, the firm representing him in Norway.

Dr. Wright was being sued in Norway by Magnus ‘Hodlonaut’ Granath. Granath had attacked Dr. Wright over Twitter and encouraged others to do the same, calling him among other things mentally ill and a fraud. Granath wanted a declaration from the Oslo District Court that his tweets were not defamatory. Following a seven-day trial, the court ruled in Granath’s favor.

Now, Dr. Wright will appeal that ruling in its entirety. That means: the finding that Granath is exempt from claims of redress; the finding that Granath is not liable for damages as a result of his tweets; and the Judge’s order for Dr. Wright to pay Granath’s legal costs, which amount to NOK4,053,750 (roughly US$398,000).

“The District Court is wrong in concluding that such unrelenting and unprovoked attacks against any private individual enjoy protection under freedom of expression provisions,” said Halvor Manshaus of Schjødt.

“Mr. Granath has breached the commonly accepted threshold of decency and respectfulness in public discourse – which apply whether online or in person.”

Derek Stinson, Managing Partner of ONTIER LLP (the firm representing Dr. Wright in London), said:

“Dr. Wright demonstrated in the American, English and Norwegian Court that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. In Florida he was acquitted of all counts of fraud and since then, the English Court has ruled it defamatory to call him a fraud. In this case of Granath v Wright, we had the opportunity to hear from a number of credible witnesses who testified to Dr. Wright’s authorship of the Bitcoin White Paper and his creation of Bitcoin.”

“Through this appeal I am determined to challenge those whose commercial interests cause them to persistently undermine the transparent digital micropayments system that is Bitcoin,” said Dr. Wright in a statement.

The appeal complains of the court’s assessment of evidence and its application of the law in arriving at its judgment. Specifically, the filing says that the court’s assessment of the tweets was based on an incorrect understanding and interpretation of their content and context. It also highlights that the court disregarded that the tweets were part of a planned, unprovoked and commercially motivated campaign against both Dr. Wright and Bitcoin SV.

Regarding costs, Dr. Wright argues that Granath prevailed on only one of two claims contained in his original case, meaning he does not meet the threshold required in order to be entitled to costs under Norwegian law. Alternatively, he argues that there are good reasons for not granting costs to Granath. These include the fact that Granath began the Norwegian proceedings without prior notification and did not respond to Dr. Wright’s offer of amicable solutions.

The verdict in Granath contrasts with a ruling made by the U.K. High Court in Dr. Wright’s case against blogger Peter McCormack over a similar Twitter campaign: there, the court found that McCormack’s tweets were defamatory.

Watch Granath vs Wright Satoshi Norway Trial Coverage Livestream Recaps on the CoinGeek YouTube channel.

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