‘SHERTEGONBOSCH, THE NETHERLANDS – Alexey Pertsev is a developer for crypto privacy tool Tornado Cash and will remain in prison following a Wednesday hearing regarding his money laundering trial.
The East Brabant Court panel of Dutch judges agreed that Pertsev could run or hide evidence if he was released on bail. Pertsev denies the charges. He will be heard again in April.
Pertsev, who was only days after U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned anonymizing software for crypto transactions that it claims was used to finance North Korean hackers, was taken into custody in August 2013. Pertsev was not charged under the Dutch system for pre-trial detention until a November court hearing.
Martine Boerlage, the Dutch public prosecutor, claimed that Pertsev and others ran Tornado as a business rather than publishing code. He compared them to bank clerks who accept piles of suspicious money without asking questions.
Protests have been held against Pertsev’s arrest Edward Snowden and the local crypto community, while OFAC sanctions have been criticized by privacy advocates and crypto enthusiasts.
Continue reading: “We Are All F ****d”: Developers of Tornado cash and the Future of Crypto
Pertsev’s lawyer Keith Cheng spoke to CoinDesk from outside the courtroom and said that the hearing was a “good start” in educating court members about decentralized finance.
Cheng stated that he had the chance to explain the foundations of Tornado Cash, as well as why it isn’t money laundering. We believe that he is stuck here because he lacks knowledge.
Cheng stated that Pertsev will not be released on bail. “Ofcourse I’m disappointed,” Cheng stated. “He will fight till the end to demonstrate the importance of open source software, decentralized options and open source code.”
UPDATE (Feb. 15, 20,23, 17:15 UTC). Commentary from Pertsev’s lawyer.