Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Few Expect Closure or Important Answers as Karpeles Trial Kicks Off

Few Expect Closure or Important Answers as Karpeles Trial Kicks Off

The trial of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles began at the Tokyo District Court today. Although a number of people with a long-time association with the case showed up to watch, few expect any satisfaction from its result.

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A number of people with an interest in the Mt. Gox case arrived at the Tokyo District Court. However the Japanese media appeared to be more interested in the case than the local Bitcoin community, outnumbering them several times over.

Nonetheless, there was enough interest for the prosecutor to hold an on-the-spot “lottery” for seats in the courtroom. Several people said they had missed out on a place.

The trial will continue on Thursday (Japan time) However following that, there will be a break that could be months long.

Gox Tokyo Karpeles Trial
Japanese media wait at the court entrance

Trial Will Not Answer Most Important Questions

Those who attended told Bitsonline they didn’t expect any resolution or closure from the trial, whatever the verdict. Karpeles is on charges of data manipulation and embezzlement.

“It doesn’t even concern the main issue, which is the theft of 850,000 bitcoins,” said one, adding that creditors shouldn’t expect answers.

Attending the trial was Kolin Burges, who gained Bitcoin fame in 2014 after protesting in the snow and confronting Karpeles outside Mt. Gox’s Tokyo headquarters.

Burges said today’s proceedings would be mainly formalities, and the charges only covered about 15 to 20 percent of what actually happened at Gox.

One AFP reporter said he was covering the trial for his local bureau — but that the case had received little coverage in the accused’s native France.

Has Mark Karpeles Been Treated Fairly?

Karpeles has already spent a year in jail, without trial. Over half that time was reportedly spent in solitary confinement, for reasons unknown.

A former associate said Karpeles was “absolutely not” being unfairly scapegoated for the Gox disaster, which saw some lose entire bitcoin holdings and even life savings.

Karpeles was personally responsible for those funds, he added. “It’s standard double-entry accounting … even any five year old would know that, so why didn’t a 30 year old?”

On a personal level, however, he said he did feel some sympathy for Karpeles.

“He’s not malicious and that’s the sad part. As far as I know he’d never deliberately do that kind of thing. But on the other hand, he’s said lots of conflicting things.”

What’s your view of Mark Karpeles and his treatment by the law? Let us know.

Images via Jon Southurst

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