Former Ethereum researcher files motion to dismiss North Korea conspiracy charge. The former Ethereum Foundation researcher, Virgil Griffith, was accused of conspiring to breach U.S. sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. On Thursday, he filed a motion to dismiss the case against him on the grounds that prosecutors from New York ‘s Southern District failed to adequately state the crime of Griffith.
Prosecutors allege that Griffith provided services to the North Korean government at the conference in the form of “valuable information” he provided to officials of the DPRK and that he “participated in conversations” about how to use blockchain technology to escape penalties.
Griffith, meanwhile, contends that his presentation was a “highly general speech based on publicly available information.” Thursday’s motion to dismiss the charge now hinges on whether or not planning and giving this presentation can be interpreted as a conspiracy to violate sanctions.
In the motion, Griffith claims that since he was not charged for his participation and was not under contract as a consultant, he did not provide the DPRK with a “service,” and that his speech is covered under the First Amendment from U.S. government prohibition.
Additionally, Griffith argues that his presentation explicitly falls under an exemption in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act for the sharing of “information” and “information materials.”
The motion added “If the speech Mr. Griffith purportedly gave is not ‘information,’ then nothing is.”
[image: Micha Brandli]