After a long weekend, the Silk Road trial has resumed. But not much progress was made.
Most of the proceedings were consumed by the two sides disputing what kind of evidence should be allowed in support of alternative theories as to the “true Dread Pirate Roberts” DPR. When the trial adjourned last week, defence lawyer Joshua Dratel went as far as to suggest that former MtGox operator Mark Karpeles is the real DPR, which Karpeles has since denied.
Yesterday, Judge Katherine Forrest told Dratel to stop questioning agent Jared Der-Yeghiayan on his “beliefs” and “suspicions,” which he did extensively during the previous session. She at one point inquired if Dratel plans on showing that Karpeles is the true DPR.
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By afternoon, Forrest said she was going to strike most of the aforementioned questioning from the records, much to the frustration of Dratel. “Now I have to go back and reconstruct,” he complained, “I’m not sure I can proceed.” Forrest replied, “I’m done with this issue. I’m not suggesting you should like it.”
Dratel did manage to squeeze out some anecdotal evidence linking Karpeles to Silk Road. “Karpeles controlled a lot of websites,” he said, and he pointed to SilkRoadMarket.org. Der-Yeghiayan said that the site was merely hosted on KalyHost, a hosting company run by Karpeles which also happened to take payment in bitcoins.
Dratel also tried to further link Silk Road with MtGox, pointing out that bitcoin prices rose to more than $250 in early 2013 but settled near $100 around the time of Ulbricht’s arrest.