Day 5 of the Kleiman v Wright trial honed in on the question, what kind of guy was and is Dr. Craig Wright?
But before that became a cornerstone of the day, defense counsel Andres Rivero finished his cross examination of Ira Kleiman. Some key points of the cross-examination were that Ira wiped and used Dave Kleiman’s hard drives shortly after taking ownership of his estate; and with that being said, there is a strong possibility that if Dave really was the owner of any Bitcoin, and he did keep them on his encrypted devices which include his hard drives, computers, and cell phone, then there is a good chance that Ira Kleiman could have mistakenly deleted Dave’s alleged Bitcoin wallets or any information that could lead to accessing Dave’s alleged Bitcoin wallets.
Another key factor was that Dave Kleiman had a lot of respect for Dr. Wright.
“I have no idea good sir, you are the genius that comes up with great ideas,” Dave said via email after Dr. Wright inquired with Dave about what topic the two should write a paper about.
Maybe the most important element of the Rivero’s Day 5 cross examination was that even though Ira Kleiman alleges Dr. Wright and his brother Dave Kleiman created Bitcoin between March 12, 2008, and Halloween 2008, there is not a single email other than the March 2008 email that mentions Bitcoin.
That lack of evidence could be critical as the trial goes on, especially since Dave and Dr. Wright had well-documented correspondences over the business matters that took place within the legally registered company the two created, W&K Info Research Defense, LLC.
“Dave, I cannot get these myself being that I am not a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, maybe we could do something in a partnership,” said Dr. Wright in an email to Dave Kleiman shortly before W&K was formally created as a partnership between Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman.
It’s important to note that Dr. Wright does not refer to an existing partnership when he says this, nor does Dave Kleiman mention any existing partnership they have. Instead, both Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman agree they should partner to get their business off the ground, and they did so via the formal formation of the partnership—nothing like that happened between the two in relation to Bitcoin, yet it is clear that both Dave Kleiman and Dr. Wright knew how to legally launch a business.
Rivero ended his cross examination of Ira Kleiman on that note, and then Andrew Brenner began his redirect.
Brenner’s redirect and the two video depositions that followed it introduced evidence into court that could influence a viewer’s perception regarding what kind of man Dr. Wright is or was.
Brenner mentioned that the Dave Kleiman estate has not received any money from Coin Exchange—a company that Dr. Wright was involved in—even though the estate was entitled to over 10 million shares that were worth over AUD40 million (~US$29.58 million) at one point in time.
Brenner produced evidence, an email from Dr. Wright to Ira Kleiman that said, “Nobody involved with this ever—even after death—wanted to be known. The myth is more powerful than all of us combined. I wanted Dave’s family to know but please understand he would not have wanted the world to know.”
There is another email from Dr. Wright to Ira Kleiman, which said:
“Please delete the emails or at least encrypt them or something after you have read them.”
All of this was to show that there was an element of secrecy to Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman’s activities. Secrecy that could suggest that they didn’t want what Ira Kleiman claims is an alleged partnership to be information that was out in the open. To drive that idea home, Brenner ended his deposition by producing a piece of email evidence from Dr. Wight to Ira Kleiman from May 20, 2014.
“We did Partner ;)” Craig said to Ira.
Who is Jonathan Warren?
After Brenner’s redirect of Kleiman, the plaintiffs showed a video deposition of Jonathan Warren, the classically trained computer scientist that created Bitmessage, an anonymous peer-to-peer message service built on BTC in 2012.
What the plaintiffs attempted to extract from Warren’s deposition was that Dr. Wright can’t be trusted to provide truthful evidence.
Warren claims that he (Warren) published Bitmessage to GitHub in late November of 2012—but there are pieces of evidence that show Dr. Wright talking to Dave Kleiman with subject lines that say things like “the trust process” with timestamps from October 2012—one month before Bitmessage was allegedly released.
Warren’s deposition could cast doubt on Dr. Wright and the authenticity of the claims he is making, which is a common theme from the plaintiff’s counsel as they have already claimed that Dr. Wright may have forged Dave Kleiman’s signature when transferring assets from W&K to himself.
Warren explored a few of the ways that the timestamp could be forged before his deposition came to an end. In Warren’s cross examination, attorney Zalman Kass took a deep dive into what could be the real release date of Bitmessage, not the alleged Github release date.
The cross examination revealed that Bitmessage was compiled on May 5, 2012, which means that a version of Bitmessage had been built well before Warren claims he had a finished product.
“Prior to November 2012, do you know if anyone released a version of Bitmessage on the dark web?” Kass asked Warren.
Warren did not deny that a version of Bitmessage might have been released on the dark web before Bitmessage’s official release date in November 2012, and he went on to explore a few of the ways that a version of Bitmessage may have appeared on the dark web before he officially launched Bitmessage via GitHub.
Once Kass mentioned the illicit uses of Bitmessage and its real launch date which took place via the dark web, Warren visibly became uncomfortable and had a change in attitude. Kass’s cross examination of Warren nullified any ground that may have been gained from Warren’s deposition because it legitimately called into question Bitmessage’s release date.
Shortly after the dark web release was brought up, Warren admitted to communicating with Dr. Wright before Bitmessage had been officially released, which could explain why Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman were able to use Bitmessage before its November release date.
Who is Deborah Kobza?
The final video deposition of the day was Deborah Kobza, founder of GICSR, a small non-profit organization that worked on best practice research. Dr. Wright was a consultant to GICSR, although Kobza claims that GICSR never really got off the ground and that the business did not amount to anything.
The plaintiff introduced a piece of evidence that showed that Dr. Wright had filed for a license with a $28 million price tag on behalf of GICSR—and Deborah Kobza appeared genuinely surprised when she was shown this document. Kobza also claimed that the written signature on the document was not her signature and that it was therefore a forged signature.
“How many times did GICSR make a multi-million-dollar purchase?” Kobza was asked, to which she responded, “Never.”
The general takeaway from the Kobza deposition was that Kobza knew little to nothing about Dr. Wright and his business affairs and that Dr. Wright was not authorized to obtain that license on behalf of GICSR, or at least not authorized to do this without making the GICSR’s founder aware of the transaction—which he didn’t do.
Kobza’s video deposition would make an onlooker question Dr. Wright’s ethics, as well as the previous pieces of evidence in which Ira Kleiman alleges that Dr. Wright fraudulently signed a document. We will have to see how her testimony holds up after cross examination which is expected on Monday.
The defense continues to emphasize that both Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman knew how to establish legitimate business entities, and they provide evidence that Wright and Kleiman have done so in the past over business ventures they wished to pursue (i.e., W&K Info Research Defense, LLC), yet there is only one email between Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman where they talk about Bitcoin, and there is no reference or email correspondence regarding a Bitcoin partnership.
On the other hand, the plaintiffs are trying to argue that this is because Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman operated in secrecy. They emphasize this by citing the many pieces of evidence in which Dr. Wright seems paranoid that the information he is sending over will be leaked to the public or end up in the wrong hands.
The plaintiffs are also trying to paint a picture that Dr. Wright is not an individual to be trusted, by introducing evidence into the court where there is allegedly a forged signature on a document or falsified date.
It is too early to say where either of these arguments will lead, if they will continue to have significance in the future, or if they will be nullified by a strong cross examination or redirect. We are only five days into the trial and there are still 11 days to go. Many people are expecting Dr. Wright to take the stand on Monday, November 8 for examination by the plaintiffs, and maybe then we will get more answers to these pressing questions.
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