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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

South African Court Releases Former Monero Developer Riccardo Spagni From Custody

South African Court Releases Former Monero Developer Riccardo Spagni From Custody – According to a report, a South African regional court magistrate recently decided to grant former Monero lead developer and fraud accused Riccardo Spagni a warning before releasing him from custody. Only a few days after being detained and arrested when he landed at OR Tambo International Airport, the magistrate decided to release Spagni.

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As previously reported, U.S. law enforcement officers detained Spagni on July 21, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. The South African government ordered the arrest to be made. Spagni has since remained in American detention while the extradition procedure is being concluded.

According to reports, Spagni initially resisted attempts to extradite him to South Africa. Alistair E. Newbern, a U.S. magistrate judge, did, however, eventually allow a motion for his extradition on June 30. This made it possible for him to be transferred from the US to South Africa, where he is said to have arrived on July 11.

According to a Soweto Live report, the prosecution side had argued against releasing the former Monero developer from detention until the trial before the July 15 decision. Spagni had previously skipped court appearances because of concern that he may contract Covid-19, according to a document signed by an investigating officer called Steven Pritchard that detailed why he might not be a good candidate for bail.

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“I subsequently searched the internet and discovered that Spagni attended a crowded Bitcoin convention in Miami with celebrities including Paris Hilton between June 4 and June 5 2021. This appeared in a photo and he was not wearing a mask,” Pritchard reportedly said in his affidavit.

Spagni claimed in his own affidavit that he was not to blame for his apparent failure to show up at planned court hearings in response to the prosecution’s allegations. 

The former developer of Monero said that at first he opposed extradition and that he ultimately decided to return to South Africa “voluntarily under conditions where my release on warning had not been canceled and the authorities had to revoke it.”

Spagni continued by outlining the legal justifications for his release on a warning to the court. The Soweto Live report stated that Spagni will likely go back to court on July 19.

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