Ethereum Dev fights to bring down sanctions for North Korea


In the letter

  • Virgil Griffith’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss a case filed by a New York court that Griffith taught North Koreans how to circumvent U.S. sanctions using Ethereum.
  • Griffith was released on bail in late 2019.
  • His lawyers argue that the argument against him is weak and unconstitutional.

Former Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith wants the US government to dismiss a case claiming that it helped North Koreans use Ethereum to avoid US sanctions while attending a conference last April.

Griffith filed a motion Thursday to dismiss the case with the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. His lawyers, Brian Klein and Sean Buckley, said in the filing that the indictment is “short and vague, merely intoning the statutory language without providing any facts to prove the conduct the government believes violates the law.”

The (now former) United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, said at Griffith’s arrest in November 2019 that “Griffith undermined the sanctions that both Congress and the president have enacted to exercise maximum pressure on the dangerous North Korean regime. ” Griffith was released on bail at the end of the year.

But all Griffith did was attend the conference, his lawyers say, “on his own, and gave a very general speech based on publicly available information, as he does almost monthly at conferences around the world.”

The motion of dismissal doubles the argument Griffith has been making all year: he actually hasn’t to teach North Koreans how to avoid sanctions: who really learns anything at conferences?

The rejection motion recalls Donald Trump’s triumph with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un; Since the US government is resigning itself to the regime, it makes sense that Griffith is also attending a conference to spread the good word Ethereum. In fact, his speech was titled “Blockchain and Peace”.

Griffith attended the conference despite the US State Department denying him permission to travel to North Korea in February 2019 to speak blockchain. The motion of dismissal, however, stated that “The letter did not indicate that the decision to travel to North Korea – or, for that matter, to attend the conference – would violate United States criminal law, or that any license of the OFAC or another US agency was needed. “

“Because of all these serious and fatal flaws, Mr. Griffith respectfully asks this Court to dismiss the accusation with prejudice. “

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