Craig Wright's Former Lawyers Say Emails Shared by Wife Are Fake as COPA Trial Heats Up

The emails were disclosed by Wright's counsel after COPA's expert witness Patrick Madden spent a tense day on the stand.

AccessTimeIconFeb 26, 2024 at 6:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:09 p.m. UTC
  • Craig Wright's former legal representatives at Ontier say emails purportedly showing their correspondence have been doctored as the fourth week of a U.K. trial probing his claims of having invented bitcoin started Monday.
  • The emails were shared by Wright's wife Ramona Watts with his U.K. counsel, who then disclosed it to the court.
  • Before the emails were revealed, Wright's team questioned a flustered Patrick Madden, whose digital forensics reports form the basis for accusations that Wright forged evidence that he's bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Emails shared by Craig Wright's wife as evidence in the ongoing trial probing whether he'd invented bitcoin (BTC) are "not genuine," Wright's former lawyers said in court, as the fourth week of the legal proceedings kicked off Monday in London.

The emails between Wright and his former representatives at Ontier became part of the trial after the self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor referenced them while he was under cross-examination last week. The emails were then shared by Wright's wife Ramona Watts with his current counsel at London law firm Shoosmiths, who in turn reached out to Ontier to confirm their accuracy.

Wright claimed Ontier had access to the Australian accounting platform MYOB in 2019, and that he had the emails to prove it. Those emails that Wright's wife then shared with Shoosmiths were doctored, according to Ontier.

Shoosmiths disclosed the emails and Ontier's response in court on Monday. The documents are now set to be analyzed by lawyers for both Wright and the plaintiff, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA).

The emails were shared with the court by Wright's team after it had spent the day cross-examining digital forensics expert Patrick Madden, whose arguments that the Australian computer scientist forged key material he relies on to prove he's Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto form the basis for COPA's complaint against Wright.

Madden, who has penned extensive reports questioning the authenticity of numerous documents that Wright has presented as proof, appeared flustered and often downplayed his findings.

Craig Orr, who cross-examined Madden for Shoosmiths, carefully hit a handful of arguments made by Madden to try and undermine the expert's work on the investigation and the strength of his findings.

When asked if he could say for sure that a footer in a document presented by Wright could or could not have existed in 2008, Madden answered: "I can't say that 100%."

When asked by Orr if he was speculating, Madden said, "It's a bit more than that, but, okay."

Later, Orr questioned why Madden had relied on COPA's counsel Bird & Bird LLP to help draft his report instead of hiring an independent assistant. Madden said he didn't trust anyone else to do the work for him.

When Orr asked if he had done anything similar for other cases, Madden answered no, and later disagreed with Orr when he suggested Madden had "undermined" his independence by his approach to preparing for the case.

Madden's planned two-day cross-examination lasted less than a day, and Shoosmiths decided against questioning two more witnesses from COPA's camp lined up for the day. The trial will resume on Tuesday.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Sandali Handagama

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