Following Mark Karpelès acquittal on charges of embezzling bitcoin in the Mt. Gox hack, his lawyer spoke out. He claims the police purely hoped to extract a confession, and the prosecution objected to evidence of Alexander Vinnik’s involvement.
Mt. Gox Ex-CEO Got A Pretty Raw Deal
It’s safe to say Mark Karpelès has had a pretty awful time over the past five years. The former CEO of the former largest Bitcoin exchange in the world has really been through the wringer. Following the 2014 hack of the Mt. Gox exchange, he cooperated with all law enforcement agencies but has faced suspicion at every turn.
Last month he was acquitted of embezzlement charges relating to the heist but received a suspended sentence for data manipulation. In Japan, the odds of a partial not-guilty verdict following an indictment are less than one percent. According to his lawyer, Nobuyasu Ogata:
Imagine someone stole everything in your store and you reported the crime to the police. A year later, the police suddenly arrest you for breach of trust, don’t recover the stolen merchandise and let the criminal go free. That’s essentially what happened with Mt. Gox.
Interrogated 8 Hours Per Day About Missing Bitcoin
After being arrested on unconnected charges in August 2015, Karpelès spent 11 months in jail. He says he was “interrogated for eight hours each day. I was asked about the missing bitcoins. I was even asked if I was Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.”
If the police were looking for a confession as Ogata contends, they didn’t get it. Karpelès was released on bail.
Meanwhile, US Authorities were also looking into the case although their preferred method was to track the lost bitcoin.