Roger Ver with a pitch dark background

Wright v Ver headed for trial in Antigua as Roger Ver chooses not to appeal

Roger Ver will not appeal his failed jurisdictional challenge in relation to Dr. Craig Wright’s libel suit against him in Antigua, CoinGeek has learned.

In February, the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda rejected a jurisdictional challenge made by Roger Ver in the Antiguan court. Ver had hoped to get the libel suit tossed on the basis that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the claim, in particular, because neither party had sufficient connection to the country. The court disagreed, pointing to the fact that both parties were connected to the country and were highly involved in the digital asset industry there: Dr. Wright has advised the government of Antigua and Barbuda on digital asset legislation and has built important associations in the country, while Ver has a home on the beach there and has hosted several Bitcoin Cash meetups in the country as well.

It said that, as a result, Dr. Wright was entitled to defend his reputation in that jurisdiction. With Ver’s decision not to appeal that ruling, the case will head to a full trial to determine whether Ver has defamed Dr. Wright.

The court’s affirmation of Dr. Wright’s lawsuit marks the culmination of years of jurisdiction hopping by Ver, as he sought to avoid answering for Tweets he had made in which he called Dr. Craig Wright a fraud in his claim to the Satoshi Nakamoto name.

Dr. Wright brought a substantially similar action in the U.K. in 2019, which was rejected on the basis that the English courts were not the most appropriate venue to hear the dispute. This caused Ver to flee to Antigua, setting up shop in the Jolly Harbour neighborhood. Unfortunately for Ver, Dr. Wright has been a citizen of Antigua since 2016, meaning that Ver had inadvertently made Antigua the perfect venue to settle the dispute.

It’s also the second time Dr. Wright has emerged victorious over Roger Ver in as many months. In February, the U.K. Court of Appeal ruled that Ver and a number of other blockchain developers must face trial over whether or not they owe legal duties to those using and relying on their blockchain protocols. It was a highly significant decision, and the trial has the potential to usher in an enormous shift in how the law deals treats ownership of digital assets.

As for Antigua, the scene is now set for the matter of Ver’s attacks on Dr. Wright to be resolved in a court of law, in the full light of the evidence. Given blogger Peter McCormack has already been found liable for defamation in the U.K. regarding substantially similar postings, the future does not bode well for Ver.

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