I now represent Virgil Griffith and am very pleased that today the judge found that he should be released from jail pending trial. We dispute the untested allegations in the criminal complaint, and Virgil looks forward to his day in court, when the full story can come out.— Brian Klein (@brianeklein) December 3, 2019
Denied PermissionThe initial complaint stated that Griffith had asked for permission to travel to North Korea to give a presentation titled “Blockchain and Peace”, for which permission was denied. A preliminary court hearing on Monday will determine if the US Department of Justice had enough evidence for probable cause. Griffith was arrested on charges described as:
“Violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by traveling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) in order deliver a presentation and technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions.”Should he be convicted, Griffith would face up to 20 years in prison. Griffith was Ethereum’s Head of Special Projects and was arrested by the FBI for allegedly advising the North Korean Government on blockchain technology.
Support for Griffith StrongThere has been a lot of support for Griffith from the cryptocurrency community, many of who have stated that the visit was harmless and or did not include any particularly inaccessible information. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has also offered his support for Virgil Griffith, saying that Ethereum did not fund or support Griffith’s attendance at the North Korean event, as BeInCrypto has previously reported. Buterin also said that all Griffith did was make a presentation on information that was already available to the public.
Klein is an attorney who has supported other prominent individuals, including Charlie Shrem, a bitcoin entrepreneur. Klein was involved in a settlement between the Winklevoss twins and Shrem.
3. I don't think what Virgil did gave DRPK any kind of real help in doing anything bad. He *delivered a presentation based on publicly available info about open-source software*. There was no weird hackery "advanced tutoring".— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 1, 2019
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