Nearly five years after Mt. Gox was hacked, another chapter was added to the long saga. The lawyer representing Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the once largest Bitcoin [BTC] exchange in the world, has accused Tokyo prosecutors of ignoring evidence, according to a report by The Japan Times.
Nobuyasu Ogata, Karpelès’ defense counsel, compared the biggest hack in cryptocurrency history to the police arresting a store owner for lodging a complaint of theft that took place.
“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.”
At the trial, Karpeles was convicted of falsifying electronic data and acquitted of embezzlement charges, much to the fury of the cryptocurrency community. Ogata lashed out and claimed that the former CEO was detained by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department because they wanted to extract a confession from him.
In July 2017, when Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece for alleged money laundering and ties to the Tokyo exchange, he became a prime suspect in the Karpelès case. Ogata further claimed that when he tried to submit Vinnik’s indictment into evidence, the Tokyo prosecutors objected, adding that he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Following the 15 March trial, many had hoped that further investigation would nail Karpeles. However, this was not the case as local Japanese daily, Nikkei Shimbun noted,
“The Metropolitan Police Department investigation into the missing bitcoins has, in fact, been terminated.”
Karpelès had claimed that he was put through harsh conditions by the authorities during the investigation, stating that interrogations would go on for “eight hours each day.”
According to Karpelès,