Judge may impose ‘extraordinary’ response of up to 7 years in prison for Craig Wright’s lies

Judge may impose ‘extraordinary’ response of up to 7 years in prison for Craig Wright’s lies

According to the Perjury Act 1911, the maximum sentence in the UK is seven years and a fine

Today, Craig Wright faced a decisive blow in the courtroom as the UK High Court examined the penalties and injunctive relief in his case against the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA). Live updates from What The Finance on X detailed the proceedings, where Jonathan Hough KC presented a comprehensive argument for severe measures against Wright, emphasizing the harm caused by his fraudulent claims and litigious actions against prominent figures in the crypto community.

Hough highlighted the significant chilling effect Wright's actions had on crypto development, noting that five developers had distanced themselves from projects due to Wright's aggressive legal strategies. He emphasized the need for substantive injunctive relief to prevent Wright from perpetuating his claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto and to safeguard the integrity of the crypto ecosystem.

Hough detailed Wright's past prosecutions against individuals like Hodlonaut and Peter McCormack, portraying Wright's actions as vindictive attempts to destroy the lives of those who questioned his legitimacy. What The Finance reported that the judge appeared sympathetic to these arguments, with Hough stressing the necessity of injunctive measures to prevent Wright from further disseminating his false claims and pursuing litigation based on his fraudulent assertions.

In an almost full courtroom, with notable absences from Wright's team, including Wright himself, who is 'traveling,' Hough navigated through legal precedents and framed a compelling case for a robust injunction. This included preventing Wright from claiming he is Satoshi Nakamoto in any public forum and mandating the removal of such claims from the internet. Justice Mellor indicated a willingness to issue an extraordinary response, hinting at the possibility of severe penalties, including custodial sentences.

According to the Perjury Act 1911, the maximum sentence in the UK is seven years and a fine.

"If any person lawfully sworn as a witness or as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding wilfully makes a statement material in that proceeding, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be guilty of perjury, and shall, on conviction thereof on indictment, be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine or to both such penal servitude or imprisonment and fine."

In the UK, perjury is an indictable-only offense, meaning it must be tried in the Crown Court, which typically involves a trial by jury. If Craig Wright were to be sentenced for perjury, he would need to undergo a new trial by jury. This is because perjury is considered a serious offense that undermines the administration of justice, and the legal process requires a thorough examination of evidence and testimonies, which is best conducted in a Crown Court setting with a jury.

The proceedings also reportedly touched on Wright's failure to provide an address for legal service, suggesting attempts to evade responsibility. Hough called for a criminal prosecution against Wright and his associate Stephan Matthews for false representations, bolstered by video evidence of Wright discussing perjury penalties.

What The Finance reported that Wright's legal team attempted to argue against the relief sought by COPA, claiming it was unnecessary and unprecedented. However, the judge's stance suggested that Wright's prolonged campaign of deceit warranted a stringent judicial response, potentially marking a significant point in the ongoing saga surrounding the true identity of Bitcoin's creator.

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