Tornado Cash Developer Will Be Detained Until February: Report

Tornado cash developer Alexey Pertsev will be detained until his hearing, which is scheduled for February 2023, according to a report by Coindesk on Tuesday.

Per the report, a court in the Netherlands ordered the accused to stay in jail until February 20 after finding that he represented a “flight risk.”

According to the report, the court turned down arguments that Tornado Cash was a decentralized protocol that Pertsev had no power to control. The court also claimed that the crypto mixer is the same as PepperSec.

PepperSec is a Delaware-registered corporation, which is responsible for developing the software that powers Tornado Cash. Pertsev is the alleged founder and CEO of PepperSec.

Pertsev’s Lawyer Expresses Disappointment

Keith Cheng, the lawyer of the accused, noted that he was “very disappointed” with the Court’s decision to keep his client in custody.

“It’s clear to us that these judges are not as familiar with the subject matter as they should be. 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,” Cheng said.

Pertsev has been held in detention since August after he was arrested by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) on the suspicion of “involvement in concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering.”

Dutch authorities claimed that before his arrest, they had launched a criminal investigation into the mixer in June. The arrest of the accused followed a move by the United States to sanction Tornado for allegedly helping criminals launder billions of dollars in crypto assets. 

With the latest development, the Tornado cash developer has now been in custody for 103 days since his arrest, after an extension on August 24.

Crypto Community Reacts to Pertsev’s Arrest

Meanwhile, Pertsev’s arrest has been met with criticism from the crypto community and his followers.

In August, some of Pertsev’s followers signed over 4,000 petitions requesting his release. The petition says the arrest of the developer “threatens to create a dangerous precedent, as developers could now be made responsible if the software they created is misused.”

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