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Virgil Griffith pleads not guilty to violating international sanctions against North Korea

Yilun Cheng

Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith has pleaded not guilty to the violation of North Korean sanctions, according to a report from CoinDesk.

In Nov. 2019, the self-branded “disruptive technologist” Griffith was arrested by U.S. authorities for traveling to North Korea in April and giving a talk at a blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in Pyongyang. 

On Jan. 9, he was formally indicted by a grand jury for "conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.” The following day, he was reportedly released on bail on the condition that his family secures a $1 million bond.

In the latest development, Griffith pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to violate the international act, according to CoinDesk.

Reporter Nik De also noted that Griffith personally attended today’s hearing and that the next hearing is tentatively set to take place on Mar. 17.

"Virgil should not have been indicted,” Griffith's lawyer, Brian Klein, told CoinDesk in a statement, adding: “We are going to vigorously contest the charge and look forward to getting all the facts in front of the jury at trial.”