Virgil Griffith, the former Ethereum Foundation researcher He was charged with conspiracy against U.S. sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him on the grounds that New York City Southern District attorneys failed to adequately substantiate the crime of Griffith’s estate.
Griffith, 37, was arrested by FBI agents on November 28, 2019 after a presentation at a conference in North Korea in April.
Prosecutors allege Griffith provided services to the North Korean government conference in the form of “valuable information” that he provided to DPRK officials, and that he was “in talks” about using blockchain technology to prevent it Participated in penalties.
Griffith meanwhile He claims his presentation was “a very general speech based on publicly available information”.
Thursday’s motion to dismiss the charges now depends on whether the planning and delivery of this presentation can be construed as a conspiracy against sanctions.
In motion Griffith argues that because he was not paid to attend and was not contracted as an advisor, he was not “serving” the DPRK and that his speech is protected from the US government’s ban on the First Amendment.
In addition, Griffith argues that his presentation specifically falls under an exception to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act for the exchange of “information” and “truth clarification materials”.
The motion added:
“If the speech Mr. Griffith allegedly made is not ‘information’, then it is nothing.”
As Cointelegraph previously reported, the Griffith case divided the crypto community.
In December, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin defended Griffith, saying:
“I don’t think Virgil really helped the DPRK get it wrong. He gave a presentation based on publicly available information about open source software. There was no strange hacker “Advanced Tutoring”. […] Virgil made no personal gain from the trip. […] I hope the USA […] Instead of chasing after programmers making speeches, focus on the real and harmful corruption this and all countries are facing.