On Tuesday, the plaintiffs are due to reach the end of their case-in-chief after spending days setting out why the jury should believe Ira Kleiman when he says he is entitled to what he says is his late brother’s share of Dr. Wright’s $74 billion fortune.
The last order of business is the plaintiff’s final witness, Dr. Matthew Edman. Dr. Edman was brought on by Ira Kleiman to testify about the authenticity of certain emails in the record. The brief time that Kleiman’s lawyers spent examining Dr. Edman consisted of him reviewing the metadata of a small collection of emails as well as the PGP signatures attached to them but given the enormous amount of emails submitted into evidence in the case, it is as yet unclear where he fits in to the plaintiff’s case.
Dr. Wright’s lawyers fought to have Dr. Edman’s testimony excluded in advance of trial on the basis that he lacks the expertise necessary to testify whether or not documents have been forged. This was rejected on the basis that these questions can be put to Dr. Edman on cross examination, so if the defense decides to take that opportunity, expect for Dr. Edman to be grilled along those lines.
Once the plaintiffs wrap up their case, it is time for the defense to present their own.
Until now, we’ve seen evidence and heard from witnesses in the narrow scope dictated by the prosecuting side.
For example, Ira Kleiman was interrogated by Dr. Wright’s counsel over his mishandling of his late brother’s storage devices after his death, with the defense accusing Ira of outright reformatting hard drives, which according to Ira, could hold evidence key to his allegations against Dr. Wright. But the topics that can be covered on cross-examination are limited.
In contrast, for the defense’s portion of the case, Dr. Wright’s lawyers are going to call an expert witness, Nicholas Chambers, who has reviewed the hard drives which still exist and still remain in Ira’s possession to show that they have been overwritten and reused, even well after Dr. Wright had warned Ira against re-using Dave’s devices in case any valuable information were left on them.
Perhaps most importantly, we’ve only heard Dr. Wright respond to the questions of Ira’s lawyers. We’ve yet to see him given the chance to tell his own side of the story on his own terms.
This is critical to the case, because there are so many gaps in what is known about Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention of Bitcoin and the relationship between Dr. Wright and Dave Kleiman. Realistically, Dr. Wright is the only living witness to most of this.
It’s important in a broader sense, too, because ultimately for better or worse, Dr. Wright’s story is the Bitcoin story—and that is of broad interest to the world at large.
But Dr. Wright’s time on the stand being examined by his own lawyers will be far from the only revealing portion of the defense’s case. Another of the depositions being called on by Dr. Wright is that of his uncle, Don Lynam. Lynam is important because he’s one of the few characters in the trial who were even aware of Dr. Wright during the time he was developing his idea for Bitcoin.
In his deposition, Lynam swears that in mid 2008 Dr. Wright gave him a rough copy of the Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper and even told him of his plan to use the now-famous Japanese pseudonym when publishing it:
“I think the actual determination of the actual name [of the paper] was still floating at the point I got the white paper, but it was clearly to be a digital monetary system…I have no doubt in my mind that that was the precursor because it had the same content as the paper that came out, or very similar content.”
This is the kinds of testimony that will never have shown up in the plaintiff’s case. Now that the defense is in the driver’s seat, who knows what evidence will come to light?
CoinGeek features Kurt Wuckert Jr. in recap coverage which will be livestreamed daily at 6:30 p.m. EST on our YouTube Channel.
Watch our Day 9 Special Report from the Kleiman v Wright trial here:
Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.
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