Home Ethereum UK government accused of abandoning national detained in Saudi Arabia over links to North Korea’s digital currency conference

UK government accused of abandoning national detained in Saudi Arabia over links to North Korea’s digital currency conference

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UK government accused of abandoning national detained in Saudi Arabia over links to North Korea’s digital currency conference

A British MP has criticized the country’s Foreign Office for handling the detention of a British citizen in Saudi Arabia. The inmate allegedly conspired to help North Korea evade sanctions through digital currencies and blockchain, working with Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith.

Crispin Blunt MP accused the Foreign Office to wash its hands of Christopher Emms’ case and refuse to help him return to his country.

Emms was arrested in Riyadh in February following the US Department of Justice (DoJ) issuing an Interpol Red Notice against him for allegedly violating US government sanctions against North Korea. It should be noted that the DoJ did not charge Emms with violating international sanctions against North Korea, only its domestic sanctions, despite not being American.

Emms had been a speaker at an event held in Pyongyang, North Korea in 2018 on digital assets and blockchain. The most notable attendee of this event was Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith, a US citizen. As CoinGeek reported, three years after his 2019 arrest, Griffith pleaded guilty to his chargespaid $100,000 in fines and was sentenced to 63 months behind bars.

The third person being prosecuted by the DoJ is Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spanish national who openly supports the North Korean regime but remains at large.

Following his arrest and questioning, Emms was released on bail and has spent the past five months in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, waiting for the DoJ to provide Saudi authorities with the documents necessary for his extradition to the United States.

However, according to MP Blunt, Emms should be brought home to the UK, and the DoJ can then go through the UK court system if they want to extradite him. The MP claimed he had been fighting for months to bring Emms back, but the government was no help.

“You can’t say that I haven’t made every effort possible with his deputy ministers to try to get them to act on this, and so far it hasn’t worked out,” the company said. legislator.

“I am now publicly asking, which is really all I have left now, to ask our Foreign Office and line ministers to take action to bring my constituent home, where they belong,” he said. he added.

The MP relies on ongoing battle to replace former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bolster his bid to bring his voter back.

I am wrongly accused by the US government, Emm says

Emms has previously distanced himself from claims that he helped Kim Jong-un’s government evade sanctions through digital assets and blockchain technology. In a interview with Sky News, he revealed that he was asked to give his thoughts on blockchain at the event with no expectation of offering expertise on sanction evasion. Be a block chain a specialist and then leader of a blockchain consulting firm, he used to speak at events every week.

Before leaving for Pyongyang, he combed through British foreign policy and determined he was not breaking any laws by visiting North Korea.

In North Korea, speakers were asked to avoid controversial topics.

“Essentially, we were given documents that we were told had been pre-approved by the North Korean government, which were basically pieces of paper that had been copied and pasted from Google and contained very blockchain basics,” he told the outlet earlier this year.

The FBI has a different narrative. His investigators say Emms began his presentation by criticizing the US government’s stranglehold on the global monetary system, which he called “very, very unfair.” He would then go on to explain how digital assets “allow money to be transferred to any country in the world, regardless of…sanctions.”

Emms maintains that he is innocent, but even if he wasn’t, he believes he has the right to “come home and settle this through the UK court system, which in my opinion, is not a huge thing to ask, even of Americans. »

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