Kleiman v Wright Ira Kleiman off the stand

Ira Kleiman finally let off the stand as Week 1 of Kleiman v Wright closes

Ira Kleiman will be grateful to leave the stand today after Andrés Rivero pressed the man who accuses Dr. Craig Wright of stealing his brother’s share of the Satoshi Nakamoto fortune for a third straight day, closing the first week of the trial of the century.

Rivero continued to press Kleiman on the absence of evidence regarding a collaboration between Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman on Bitcoin. Of particular note was an email from Dr. Wright to Dave which kicked off a collaboration in putting together RFPs for the Department of Homeland Security in 2011—well after the release of the Bitcoin white paper. Dr. Wright suggests a novel idea—that the two should embark on this venture via a partnership. This is the first time in any communication between Dr. Wright and his deceased best friend that the word comes up—in 2011.

The counter-narrative also came into focus at this point. Andrew Scott Brenner, an attorney for the plaintiffs, returned after this skirmish for some final follow-up questions to Kleiman. The effect was to portray the relationship between Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman as highly secretive and therefore it is unlikely that such a partnership would have been discussed anyway. How this fits in with Ira Kleiman’s story about Thanksgiving dinner isn’t clear.

The parties also butted up against the first significant question over the authenticity of certain emails submitted into evidence in Kleiman v Wright. After Ira’s testimony, the plaintiffs showed two video depositions which took up the rest of the afternoon.

The first was of Jonathan Warren, immediately after the conclusion of Ira Kleiman’s cross examination. Warren is the creator of Bitmessage, a decentralized, encrypted, peer-to-peer messaging app.

He was deposed by the plaintiffs to opine on the authenticity of certain Bitmessage messages that have been submitted into evidence by Dr. Wright about a variety of things, many of which concern the setup of Dr. Wright’s famous trusts. Warren says the messages have to be inauthentic, because they are dated some months before the release of Bitmessage in 2012.

While being questioned by the defendants, Warren admitted that earlier versions of Bitmessage may have been leaked to the dark web prior to its official release. He also could not say definitively whether or not he (and the Bitmessage software he was working on) had been hacked, such that it might have been made available prior to the official release.

The second was Deborah Kobza. Kobza worked at a cybersecurity certification non-profit, GICSR, that Dr. Wright was affiliated with for a short time. Kobza was asked about a number of contracts, allegedly between companies of Dr. Wright and GICSR and which include Kobza as representative of GICSR. On the video, Kobza said she had never seen the documents in her life, and doesn’t recognize the transactions they describe.

Both videos were seemingly shown to discredit Dr. Wright generally, but neither go to the question of whether the alleged Bitcoin partnership ever existed.

One side story from the day which may continue to appear throughout trial comes from Andrew O’Hagan, a Scottish journalist who covered Dr. Wright’s ‘coming out’ saga in 2016 for the London Review of Books. O’Hagan was called for a deposition by one of Ira’s attorney firms (Boies Schiller Flexner LLP) early in the case over his coverage. O’Hagan agreed, with the stipulation that his costs (including the costs associated with protecting sources) be covered. They paid him a portion of these costs in advance—£34,988—but “after the deposition concluded, Plaintiffs simply refused to pay the balance of O’Hagan’s fees and costs. Plaintiffs had what they came for – testimony and evidence for use in the action now being tried before this Court – but despite their agreement… they contested the amount and did not pay.”

Despite O’Hagan successfully getting an order from the U.K. court demanding payment of the remaining £92,707, the plaintiffs continue to refuse to pay. Having now filed a new motion in the Florida court, that number likely just got higher.

Dr. Wright is now due on Monday, though there is the possibility that either Ramona Watts or Lynn Wright is called before that happens. One expert we are yet to see is Dr. Ami Klin, the doctor who is testifying as to Dr. Wright’s autism diagnosis. No doubt important context for Dr. Wright’s demeanor, it seems likely we will hear from him before the defendants call Dr. Wright for their own case, presumably also taking place next week.

CoinGeek will feature Kurt Wuckert Jr. in daily recap coverage which will be livestreamed on a daily basis at 6:30 p.m. EST on our YouTube Channel.

Watch our Day 5 Special Report from the Kleiman v Wright trial here:

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Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.

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