A court in the Netherlands has ruled that Alexey Pertsev, a Tornado Cash developer who was arrested in August by Dutch authorities over allegations of facilitating money laundering, will be allowed to return home next week pending trial.
Decrypt has confirmed the news with people familiar with the matter. Pertsev is expected to be released on April 26 without having to pay any financial security, and will be permitted to return home.
However, he will be required to have electronic monitoring devices installed at his residence.
“Today, Alex fought for his own personal freedom, speaking for himself, defending his stance as a crypto builder,” founder of the Amsterdam-based educational group CryptoCanal Eléonore Blanc, who was present at today’s hearing at 's-Hertogenbosch court, told Decrypt.
“The judge heard Alex and under certain conditions, as of next week, he will be able to stay at home until his trial,” added Blanc, describing Pertsev as “a believer in the cypherpunk fundamentals of crypto, privacy, decentralization and ownership.”
🕊️ @Free__Alexey IS FREE TO GO HOME 🕊️
Next Wednesday 26th, he can await his trial at home with electronic monitoring.
The most important thing is that he can walk around and work on his defense, something that was virtually impossible while detained.
— Eléonore Blanc 🔜 #ETHDam (@blockblanc) April 20, 2023
Russia-born Pertsev was arrested on August 10, 2022, by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the agency responsible for investigating financial crimes in the Netherlands.
He was charged under suspicion of facilitating money laundering by mixing cryptocurrencies through Tornado Cash, a decentralized Ethereum mixing service, and was held in custody since then without a trial.
Shortly before that, the U.S. authorities sanctioned Tornado Cash, alleging it was linked to North Korean state hackers Lazarus Group and assisted with laundering as much as $7 billion since 2019.
Earlier, the Dutch public prosecutor had claimed that Pertsev was a flight risk and could tamper with evidence if released, but had not provided any specific details to support the allegations.
Today’s hearing brought “no new revelations,” according to Bitcoin developer Sjors Provoost, who also was in the court.
“Pertsev maintains that he did everything he could to prevent criminal abuse within the constraints of a decentralized system,” Provoost wrote in a Twitter thread. “Prosecutor expects smart contracts to prevent deposits of criminal proceeds, which is essentially a ban.”
A further investigation hearing in the Alex Pertsev’s case will be held on May 24.