On Day 6 of the Satoshi Trial in Norway, Magnus Granath’s legal team gave their closing statements. As always, CoinGeek’s Kurt Wuckert Jr. was there to give a recap on the day’s proceedings via a special coverage live stream.
A quick recap
Wuckert takes a moment to bring new viewers up to speed and to recap how we got here.
Magnus Granath, aka Hodlonaut, started a defamation campaign on Twitter, calling Dr. Craig Wright a fraud. He was asked to stop the movement and apologize. He did stop, but instead of apologizing, he sued Dr. Wright, and that’s why they’re on trial in Norway.
A better day for Magnus Granath
Wuckert says this was a better day for Magnus Granath. He says that last Friday was a good day for KPMG and that they poked holes in a lot of Dr. Wright’s narrative, listing reasons why his documents were bad and implying they were forgeries. For example, some of the documents that were supposed to be from 2008 used fonts that weren’t available until 2015.
“All weekend was a cacophony of small blockers wondering how Dr. Wright would ever come back from this,” Wuckert notes, pointing to their joy that he had finally been exposed.
Noting that the momentum would often shift in the Kleiman vs. Wright trial depending on who was presenting, Wuckert says he doesn’t feel the same about this one. Instead, he feels Dr. Wright has had a consistently stronger case day by day. He attributes this, at least partly, to Dr. Wright’s legal team led by Halvor Manshaus.
BDO pokes holes in the plaintiff’s ‘slam dunk’ evidence
Wuckert says that BDO did a great job poking holes in some of the evidence that caused such jubilance in the small-blocker camp over the weekend. For example, they looked at the time dilation, which appeared to have been edited before the document was opened. They said they tried to run virtual simulations and discovered a bug on a Windows service pack using a specific version of MS Word. This can throw the time off and cause a document to appear like it was opened for editing for longer than was possible.
BDO pointed out that Norway has no national standards for cyber forensics. There’s no governing body, standards, or practices; therefore, there’s no way to determine if something was done right or wrong. This calls into question the rigor of KPMG’s report.
While BDO was respectful of KPMG’s report and praised how thorough it was, they didn’t go over the environments or methods they used in their analysis.
“If you can’t reproduce an experiment, by definition, it is not scientific,” Wuckert said.
For a great many of the problematic documents, BDO was able to give alternative explanations. For example, creating a document in MS Word and opening it in Open Office can change the fonts. BDO also called out KPMG for how they wrote their report to imply malice and manipulation, while there are many other possible explanations.
Overall, Wuckert thinks BDO took KPMG’s work down slightly, but it wasn’t a knockout punch. There were a few files that BDO stated did not make sense. He said it brought the debate back into sharp focus and that things could still go either way.
Granath’s closing arguments
“Closing arguments were basically a summary of what we heard over the last few days,” Wuckert says.
What was that summary for Granath? That free speech is what it is, and he has a right to say what he wishes. They made the argument that Dr. Wright is a public person and that his works had an impact on Bitcoin. Therefore, Dr. Wright’s right to privacy is different.
They also tacitly admitted that Granath is a troll and that some of his statements are borderline libelous. Essentially, the argument is that Granath has a right to free speech and that he believed his statements to be true at the time. “They truly doubled down,” Wuckert says.
Granath’s team also argued that fraud isn’t necessarily a legal term and can be used to refer to someone with a reputation for dishonesty. They argued that Dr. Wright is perceived this way publicly and has earned this title. They went hard on the idea that all of Dr. Wright’s story is an elaborate hoax and did not back down in any way.
In essence, Wuckert described Granath’s arguments as the epitome of BTC culture. Nothing can replace a digital signature, no other evidence counts, and the entire purpose of Bitcoin is to replace everything else and to distrust anything that is not verified with a signature. He’s not sure how this will go down with the judge.
Wuckert said this is a great opportunity to see if Dr. Wright was right in saying that the court is the place to sort everything out using real people, such as the witnesses he has presented. He likens this to a turning point with historical significance as it will determine what the culture looks like going forward.
Questions and Answers
Q. When will Dr. Wright’s side make closing arguments?
Wuckert said it will be on Wednesday as tomorrow is a day off.
Q. Why do you think it was a strong day for small blockers?
Wuckert began by saying he didn’t want to overstate it. It’s not like he thinks Dr. Wright has lost. Instead, he thinks they scored a few points and picked up steam as the trial continues.
Q. Who was the new witness Granath wanted to introduce?
This witness was called Dustin Trammell. Dr. Wright mentioned him as someone he talked to as Satoshi Nakamoto. However, he denied it on Twitter, and Granath wanted to submit this statement. The judge shot this down, basically telling them to stop bringing the internet into her courtroom.
Q. Who submitted the Timechain white paper?
Wuckert believes Dr. Wright’s side submitted this. However, he submitted a total of 1.9 million pages of documents to the Kleiman trial, and many of the documents, in this case, are rolled over from there.
Q. How will Dr. Wright’s team counter what was said today?
The only thing Dr. Wright has to do to win is cast doubt on some of their claims, Wuckert said. He only has to show that they don’t know that he’s a fraud, don’t know he has lied, don’t know that the proof sessions were real, etc.
Q. What’s the backstory about the KPMG report?
KPMG had the ability to look at 1.9 million public documents. They chose some of these and made a 1,700-page report. They forensically audited the documents by looking at metadata, etc.
Watch: Satoshi Trial Day 5 concludes with more witness testimony
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