Tornado Cash Developer Alexey Pertsev to Remain in Jail Until at Least Late Februrary
‘S HERTOGENBOSCH, NETHERLANDS – Alexey Perstev has been ordered to stay in jail until Feb. 20 after a Netherlands court found the Tornado Cash developer represented a flight risk.
He has been held in detention since August, days after the U.S. Treasury used sanction powers against the Tornado protocol, which it says has been used to launder over a billion dollars and support North Korean hackers.
The Dutch public prosecutor brushed aside arguments that Tornado Cash was a decentralized protocol which Pertsev was powerless to control, claiming that it was in fact one and the same as PepperSec, a company for which Pertsev worked alongside fellow developers Roman Semenov and Roman Storm.
Outside the courtroom, Pertsev’s lawyer Keith Cheng told CoinDesk he was “very disappointed” with the decision.
“It's clear to us that these judges are not as familiar with the subject matter as they should be,” Cheng said. “At the moment, the case law regarding criminal activities is all about bitcoin mixers … it's very important that the court understands that Tornado Cash is something different.”
Perstev’s arrest and detention has drawn widespread outcry, including protests in Amsterdam and a tweet from Edward Snowden comparing Perstev’s treatment to the kid gloves afforded to executives at collapsed crypto exchange FTX.
This is a developing story and will be updated shortly.