In addition, a pre-trial hearing scheduled for May 24, 2023 is pending.. The panel of judges considering the case explained that the Russian developer could escape or try to hide evidence if he was released on bail.
Alexey Pertsev was arrested in August in the Netherlands after the US Treasury Department placed the Tornado Cash mixer on the sanctions list.. U.S. authorities believe that the service was used to launder money totaling more than $7 billion, including by the well-known hacker group Lazarus Group from North Korea.. The Dutch Ministry of Finance also accused Pertsev of concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering through Tornado Cash.. The developer himself denies the allegations against him.
Pertsev's defense said that formally he had not yet been charged with any crime.. However, he remains in custody under Dutch law, which allows law enforcement to hold suspects without formal charges.. Since the arrest of Pertsev, the court has already rejected three appeals. The Change.org website has a petition that has collected approximately 5,000 signatures in support of the creator of Tornado Cash.
Keith Cheng, lawyer for the detainee, called the upcoming hearing a good opportunity to inform the court and authorities about the principles of decentralized finance and why using a mixer cannot be called money laundering.. Cheng believes that it was the lack of knowledge of law enforcement agencies that was the main reason that Pertsev is now in prison.
“Of course, I am disappointed that Alexei will not be released on bail.. We will fight to the end to prove how important decentralization, software and open source are,” the lawyer promises.
Earlier, the Russian developer was also supported by the human rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), condemning the US Treasury sanctions imposed on Tornado Cash.