COPA vs CSW – Day 16 – Craig’s Lawyers Do COPA’s Job For Them

In court today, it was the turn of the COPA expert witness, Mr Patrick Madden. Cross examination occurred in the morning, and was over much faster than expected. COPA’s key witness was expected to testify over two days, but it was over in just one morning. The key point Craig’s barrister made was that it was possible to have a system configured, such that the signs of document manipulation could be put there by the software. Mr Madden often explained that yes this was technically possible, just not likely or feasible. Anyway, this cross-examination was over pretty quickly and then as we entered the afternoon, the court was then hit with some damaging surprise revelations from Mr Wright’s own legal teams.

MYOB screenshots
These revelations relate to Craig’s MYOB accounting records, which have come up a lot in this trial (Three times to be precise, day 4, day 15 and now day 16). Screenshots of the output from this accounting system have been provided by Craig as evidence in this trial. The output shows the transfer of Bitcoin from one of Wright’s companies to another company (Information Defense to Wright International Investments), for £795,000. The transaction is dated August 2009. If this document was authentic, it would support the claim that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. Screenshots from the MYOB system are shown below.

However, COPA alleges that the screenshots were not made until 9 March 2020. The evidence for this is from the COPA expert witness, Mr Patrick Madden, who obtained the raw log files for the accounting software which date the entries to March 2020 and the screenshots must have taken place after the accounting entries were made. In response to this, Craig told the court that the records could not have been made in 2020, since the screenshots were provided by his old lawyers, Ontier, who produced the documents in 2019.

Disclosure from Craig’s lawyers
In court on 26th February 2024, Craig Wright’s own barrister, Lord Grabiner, was compelled to show a letter to the court, a letter from Craig’s old lawyers (Ontier), to his new lawyers (Shoosmiths). This was evidence in court, which was especially damning to Mr Wright. Given how this case has progressed, this is not particularly unusual. However, what was unusual is that was being presented by Wright’s own barrister. It was almost as if Lord Grabiner was doing the work of the COPA barrister Mr Hough. As a result, Mr Hough almost had nothing to say.

A summary of the content of the letter is provided below

Date: 8 Feb 2024
From: Ontier
To: Shoosmiths

1. Dr Wright first provided this firm with login details for the MYOB accounting software on 9 March 2020 and we first accessed the software on that same date. We did not have access to MYOB in late 2019.

2. We created a series of screenshots from that system on 9 and 10 March 2020

3. We are not aware of AlixPartners having access to MYOB in late 2019. They can confirm the position.

Lord Grabiner then went on to disclose an email from Mr Wright’s wife, Ramona Watts.

A summary of an email from Ramona Watts (Craig’s wife)

Date: 18 Feb 2024
From: Ramona Watts
To: Shoosmiths

Please see communications between Simon Cohen from Ontier. In respect of 2019 MYOB login, Ontier has said that they only received login details in 2020, but they, as well as AlixPartners, had it in 2019 as Craig has explained.

The above email forwarded another email, which contained the MYOB login details being sent to AlixPartners and Ontier, it was dated on 02 Dec 2019. This email was part of a chain. Firstly Craig emails the login details to Ontier. In the second email, Simon Cohen of Ontier replies and say’s ”Thanks Craig.”

Doing COPA’s job for them, Lord Grabiner then pointed the court to Mr Wright’s testimony in this trial.

23 Feb 2024 – This trial

Question from COPA: You told the court that Ontier received MYOB login details in late 2019, didn’t you?
Craig: “I did, and I have the emails for it”

Lord Grabiner then disclosed a second damning email from Mr Wright’s old lawyers.

A summary of the second email from Ontier to Shoosmiths

Date: 23 Feb 2024
From: Ontier
To: Shoosmiths

We have searched our systems. We can confirm that we have located the attached email which on its face is dated 2 December 2019 and contains the same text as the email attached to your email timed 11:51. However, our attached email was in fact received on our systems on Sunday, 18 February 2024. This is confirmed by the email metadata, which can be reviewed by viewing the properties of our attached email. For the avoidance of doubt we have compared the email properties of the email on our systems to those of the email attached to your 11:51 email and they substantially differ.

In light of the above, we are of the view that the email attached to your 11:51 email is not genuine. Understandably, we are keen to ensure that the court is not misled. Please provide us with a copy of the transcript of today’s proceedings and confirm by return how you intend to proceed.

Lord Grabiner then showed the court the two versions of the emails. In a bizarre moment, it was Lord Grabiner doing COPA’s job of proving to the court that Craig (or his wife) had faked documents. Indeed, Grabiner had to do this, as the email above said, Craig’s old lawyers demanded that this was raised in court and asked for the evidence. Grabiner said as follows:

So, my Lord, if your Lordship holds side by side the, what I call the Ramona version next to the Ontier version. So we can just have a look at that. It’s from Craig Wright, 2 December 2019, and again, this is a three email chain, but the top email, of course, is an entirely different content.… But if you compare the two, your Lordship can see that the top email is entirely different and both purport to be in respect of the 2019 communication.

The original 2019 email contained content with some information about the BlackNet system. In this remarkable turn of events, Grabiner was proving to the court the nefarious shenanigans of Mr Wright.

In the diagram below, we attempt to explain the situation with the emails. [Based on updates from 01 March 2024]

The rest of the trial

At the start of today’s proceedings, Craig Wright’s barrister asked for a report from a new expert witness of his to be submitted as evidence. This expert is called Mr Peter Bryant. This is presumably because Craig thinks his current expert, Dr Placks is “unqualified” and “unskilled”. However, amazingly, on the same day, a few hours later in the afternoon, this request with withdrawn. As Mr Wright’s barrister put it:

Dr Wright is not pursuing an application in respect of Mr Bryant

Mr Wright also indicated that he no longer wishes to examine various other witnesses, including his own expert Dr Placks. This means COPA will not be able to cross-examine Dr Placks either and therefore the judge is likely to treat COPA favourarbly with respect to this evidence. This just leaves a few more witnesses left. Mr Rosendahl tomorrow is due to be examined tomorrow. After this and a couple more witnesses, we will having closing arguments and then the trial will finally be over. Things are getting faster now, just a few more days left.