Due Process International vows to end the ruthless persecution of crypto professionals who are forced to enter guilty pleas after unconscionable harassment.
The United States government continues to target individuals involved in the cryptocurrency development, business and education sectors, casting a wide net over industry professionals and using harassment and intimidation to cause victims to plead guilty and provide witness statements against other industry professionals. With the threat of hefty sentences, prosecutors hope their targets will plead guilty to crimes they haven’t even committed in return for lesser sentences.
Due Process International is representing one such client who is not even subject to US law, is not a US person or citizen and did not violate any law in their own country. Yet, the US has misused Interpol’s database to issue a Red Notice against him, hoping that he will be intimidated enough to provide testimony against an alleged co-conspirator that he incidentally met only once at a crypto conference, along with dozens of others. “Abusing Interpol’s membership is not uncommon”, says Interpol & Extradition Expert Radha Stirling, “but when we speak of Interpol Abuse, we are usually condemning countries like the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, China, Russia, Korea and Venezuela. There is an initiative in DC to hold Interpol legally accountable for allowing the continued wrongful reporting of individuals, given the human rights violations that victims are subjected to such as wrongful imprisonment abroad. If the US is actively misusing the database themselves to harass and extort victims, we are going to see opposition to any accountability movements in the States”.
The sentencing discrepancies for crypto related prosecutions have been outrageous as we clearly see in the case of then 26 year old tech entrepreneur, Ross Ulbricht. Ulbricht created an exchange platform called ‘Silk Road’ and was sentenced to two life sentences without parole because some customers used the tool to pay for illegal goods. Ulbricht finally spoke out about his incredible case:
Ethereum researcher Virgil Griffith entered a guilty plea in New York for violating sanctions after attending a conference in North Korea. Griffith had maintained his innocence up until September last year when he chose to plead guilty after undoubtedly succumbing to pressure from lawyers and prosecutors. Griffith is hoping for a reduced sentence, but there is significant industry concern that he was subjected to undue influence. His sentencing will be announced soon.
Stirling continued, “What has been clear in many cases is that the US system will unscrupulously charge and threaten to prosecute industry professionals with the flimsiest of evidence insufficient for a conviction but when faced with life imprisonment in abysmal conditions while being offered a plea bargain, most lawyers will recommend their innocent client take the deal. Prosecutors are relying on this, charging victims with very serious and inappropriate crimes, hoping they will plead guilty so the prosecutor gets an easy win and a nice promotion. This kind of harassment has seen victims essentially confess to crimes they haven’t committed which in turn encourages the practice to continue. We’ve all seen A Few Good Men and while Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee starts out looking for easy plea deals, he eventually sees that justice should not be seeking to ‘close cases’ but should be seeking the truth.
“It is clear that industry professionals are being maliciously targeted by the US and other governments and that there is very little support. Their reputations have been slandered, their assets looted and they've been harassed using the corrupt Interpol organisation. Interpol is now under the direction of the United Arab Emirates General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi who has been accused of human rights abuses and torture, further diminishing the organisation’s credibility.
“The United States seeks to intimidate small fish into providing testimony, even if false, against big fish.”
Due Process International (DPI) is collating evidence to assist victims facing unfair trials, wrongful prosecution and imprisonment, and to end this unconscionable state ordained conduct. “The State relies upon individuals feeling they’re on their own, separated from any alliance so they can go in for the kill. That’s going to end”, said Due Process International CEO, Radha Stirling.
About Radha Stirling
Radha Stirling founded Detained in Dubai and Due Process International in 2008 and has since helped and advised in more than 17,000 cases of injustice. Expert Witness Stirling is the founder of IPEX (Interpol & Extradition) Reform, a civil and criminal justice specialist, legislative, investment risk, business and policy advisor to the public and private sectors, speaker and host of the Gulf in Justice Podcast, covering regional issues in depth.
Founder & CEO at Detained in Dubai