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North Korea Hacking Inquired Into With Jean Lee and Griffith NoKo Crypto Trial Due Sept 13

By Matthew Russell Lee, Pod Exclusive Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 20 – With South Korea's Moon Jae-In headed to DC, Inner City Press on May 20 asked noted North Korea expert Jean Lee about DPRK's hacking and what the Biden Administration will do. Question video here, follow up here, full video on Wilson Center site.

  Jean Lee, who is working on a multi-part podcast with BCC called The Lazarus Heist, said it is not possible for the US to prosecutor about North Korea's computer misdeeds. But beyond cases in the federal courts in California, there's the prosecution in SDNY of Virgil Griffith, which Inner City Press first reported on when he came through the Magistrates Court during the holidays.

   Virgil Griffith, charged with violating North Korea sanctions in connection with a crypto-currency conference there, now faces trial in September 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

This emerged at a telephone conference in the case on December 22. Griffith's defense lawyer Brian E. Klein spoke among other things about filings not yet placed in the public docket, only emailed to SDNY Judge P. Kevin Castel. 

 On February 11, Judge Castel held a proceeding about who knew what before and at the conference Griffith spoke at. A stipulation or agreement has been proposed, essentially that some people know, but the DPRK / Kim government as such did not. Inner City Press live tweeted the first proceeding, here.

 And on February 23 the second proceeding, in two parts, here.

 On March 12, citing the swearing into the office of US Attorney General of Merrick Garland the day before, the US Attorney's Office has asked for a three week delay for its Classified Information Procedures Act filings, since Garland must sign them on personal knowledge, under US v. Aref. Others might wonder if the change in Administration might result in a changed prosecutorial stance in this and certain other cases. But, three weeks - granted on March 15:

"MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Virgil Griffith on re: [103] LETTER MOTION filed by USA addressed to Judge P. Kevin Castel from AUSAs Kimberly Ravener & Kyle Wirshba dated March 12, 2021 re: CIPA Motion Schedule. Pursuant to CES's instructions, the Government respectfully requests that the Court extend the date of its CIPA motion until April 9, 2021. ENDORSEMENT: OK. Application Granted. So Ordered: (Signed by Judge P. Kevin Castel).

The US and Virgil Griffith's lawyers disagree on how to describe the crypto knowledge of North Korea at the time of the conference Griffith spoke at. They seem to agree that some officials knew - but did "the DPRK government"?

Meanwhile, Griffith has requested loosening of pre-trial release conditions, including use of a Kindle, emailing with people other than his lawyers, and termination of drug testing. Full letter on Patreon here.

 Back on November 10, Inner City Press went in person to the proceeding in Judge Castel's Courtroom 11D. It was alone in the gallery; in the front were the three ASUAs, Mr. Buckley for Griffith, and on the side CISO Hartenstein, who performs the same role in the CIA leaks case US v. Joshua Schulte.

  The government said it won't make its CIPA motion under March 19. Buckley point out that is more than a year after Griffith was arrested, and that Griffith is seeking FBI and other information.

 Judge Castel replied that he will bring the parties in on December 22. He said the public portion of the CIPA Section 2 conference was over; he told Mr Buckley he did not have to wait around (and Inner City Press, by implication, either). But what are the rights of the press and public with respect to these CIPA sealings?

  Earlier in the case: Judge Castel to his credit the same day asked each side's counsel to respond: "The Court has received an application from Inner City Press for the unsealing of certain applications by the defendant for the issuance of subpoenas. The parties shall respond to the application by May 22, 2020. If there is no objection, the Court will order the applications and any resulting order unsealed."

 On May 29, Judge Castel ruled: "Defendant is directed to file forthwith on ECF his ex parte and in camera applications for subpoenas pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 17. (Signed by Judge P. Kevin Castel on 5/29/2020) (ap)."

  And now they have been filed: a March 17 letter and affirmation, and the subpoena itself, for "A list of any and all IP addresses associated with the email address, and any logs or similar records of access to the email address, for the period from November 1, 2018 to October 30, 2019."

  Inner City Press has uploaded the application, affirmation and subpoena on Patreon here.

   An aside: the application of diplomatic immunity and/or the Vienna convention to this subpoena, and Verizon's response to it, remain UNclear.

 On June 1, Griffith's lawyer filed a motion to dismiss for lack of venue, stating that Griffith's email to the North Korea Mission in New York, responded to, might not have been "received" in New York. Inner City Press is tweeting the photo here. Watch this site.

    On May 28, from Judge Castel again to his credit, this: "ORDER as to Virgil Griffith. The government advises that the defendant consents to public disclosure of his ex parte and in camera application for a subpoena pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 17 (the Application) but does not consent to advance disclosure of the Application to the government. To enable the government to intelligently state its position on public disclosure, defendant shall transmit the Application to the government by 1 p.m. today, May 28, 2020. The government shall state whether it has any objection to public disclosure by 1 p.m. on May 29, 2020. The Court will thereafter rule on whether the Application should be publicly filed (Signed by Judge P. Kevin Castel on 5/28/20)(jw)." Watch this site.

The case is US v. Griffith, 20-cr-15 (Castel). 


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