• A Norwegian court ruling has been appealed by Craig Wright, who claims to be the founder of Bitcoin.
• His right to protest the ruling has been upheld by the Norwegian Court of Appeal, lawyers involved in the case have told CoinDesk.
• The case involves issues such as defamation, protection of the personal sphere and harassment.
A new twist has been added to the already complicated legal cases surrounding Craig Wright, the man who claims to be the founder of Bitcoin. Wright has been given the go-ahead to appeal a Norwegian court ruling, CoinDesk has been told.
The ruling was issued in October by Judge Helen Engebrigtsen of the Oslo District Court, stating that Magnus Granath (aka Hodlonaut) was within his rights to post tweets in 2019 calling Wright a “fraud” and a “scammer” for claiming to be the true founder of Bitcoin.
Wright’s appeal has now been approved by the Norwegian Court of Appeal, with lawyers from both sides confirming the news to CoinDesk. Wright’s attorney, Halvor Manshaus, a partner at Oslo practice Schjødt, said in a statement that the decision means that the Court of Appeals will hear his case and render its own independent decision. Manshaus mentioned that the case involves other non-economic interests, such as defamation, protection of the personal sphere and harassment, aside from the monetary claims.
On the other hand, Ørjan Salvesen Haukaas, a partner at the law firm DLA Piper, representing Granath, attempted to downplay the significance of the decision. He said in an email that there is nothing dramatic or unusual about the decision by the appeals court.
Manshaus had indicated back in October that Wright intends to appeal, pointing out how anonymous online bullying could have a chilling effect on public discourse. Granath had hoped that the Norwegian case would be able to prevent an unfavorable ruling in the UK, where defamation laws are much stricter.
Wright scored a partial legal victory in the UK on Wednesday, where he is suing the estate of the late computer scientist David Kleiman for $10 billion. The court ruled that Wright is not entitled to a portion of Kleiman’s Bitcoin holdings, but Wright is still able to pursue the claim for the alleged theft of intellectual property.
The Norwegian Court of Appeal will now decide if Wright’s right to protest the ruling by Judge Engebrigtsen should be upheld. If it is, it will be a significant decision that could have far-reaching implications in other cases involving defamation and online harassment.