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Virgil Griffith Says Innocent on North Korea Crypto Charges in SNDY Next Date March 17

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Thread
BBC - Decrypt - Guardian UK - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 30 – Virgil Griffith who was arrested on Thanksgiving on federal charges of illegally traveling to North Korea and provide crypto currency advice and was denied bail on December 26 was on appeal on December 30 ordered released on bail. Inner City Press' live-tweeted thread here and new Patreon here.

  On January 10 the US Attorney's Office wrote to Judge P. Kevin Castel and proposed that Griffith, after obtaining a state ID in Alabama, return to New York be arraigned on the indictment on January 30. More on Patreon here.

  Inner City Press was there on January 30, as were Griffith and his now three lawyers. Griffith wore a grey jacket, and laughed when the lawyers joked that the next date in the case will be March 17, St. Patrick's Day: "Wear a green tie."

  When asked how he pled, Griffith said, "Innocent."
   The US Attorney's Office said it had given some discovery on January 24, with more in two weeks. But when asked for a list of other attendees of the North Korea conference, the reply is that it is not required. Griffith's team may seek Rule 15 testimony overseas, and politely declined Inner City Press' question afterward about the other person referenced in the charging documents. Thread here, more on Patreon here.

  On January 8 Inner City Press learned that Griffith has been formally indicted for "conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act," here. His case has been assigned to SDNY Judge P. Kevin Castel, as 20-cr-15: the fifteenth criminal case of the year in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

 Inner City Press on January 6 exclusively attended and covered another crypto-currency case in the chambers of Judge Castel, SEC v. Telegram (about its proposed blockchain Grams).  We'll have more on this. More on Patreon here.

  The bail appeal hearing began just after 11 am before Judge Broderick. Griffith's main lawyer Brian E. Klein of Baker Marquart LLP was present at the defense table. In the gallery along with Inner City Press was Virgil Griffith's father, who said he had been reading Inner City Press' tweets.

  Despite the US Attorney's Office, which sent ever more senior Assistants into the courtroom as the proceeding went on, hammering away about the Dark Web and crypto currency wallets in Virgil Griffith's apartment in Singapore, as well as his alleged mulling of buying a St. Kitts passport, Judge Broderick ordered him released.

  The conditions include a $1 million bond secured by the homes of his father and sister. He will be allowed to e-mail with his lawyers, and even to use his passport card for travel, pending getting an Alabama state ID.

  At the proceeding's conclusion Inner City Press asked the Assistant US Attorney if his Office could appeal Judge Broderick's decision and, after a pause as long as it took for the elevator doors to close, he said yes, it could be appealed.

  As Inner City Press has complained, the case until now has remained sealed. That should be ending - watch this site. Here's from Inner City Press' exclusive (live) reporting thread, and Patreon here.

After bond signed and house revisited, Virgil Griffith will be released. His father tells Inner City Press he's been reading its tweets.

The US Attorney's Office cited his text messages to his parents about renouncing his U.S. citizenship and setting up a money laundering business in North Korea.

  In the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York his parents were present, along with Inner City Press as the only media. They were there since the morning, and watched the other cases Inner City Press reported on.

  Assistant US Attorney Kimberly Ravener told SDNY Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses that Griffith had misled Pre-Trial Services about his residence in Puerto Rico; his laywer Mr. Buckley first said Griffith owned it, then that he rented.

  Judge Moses asked why he has a residence in Puerto Rico. Buckley said Puerto Rico is a developing area in the crypto space.

  Griffith's request to be released was first stayed by SDNY District Judge Denise Cote, operating a "Part I" judge at the time. Buckley at the conclusion near 5 pm of the bail denial hearing on December 26 said he and a colleague flying in might seek to appeal. Inner City Press will continue to cover this case. Here is its live-tweet threat of December 26, more on Patreon here... The case is US v. Griffith, 20-cr-15 (Castel).


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