After close to nine months in prison, Tornado Cash’s creator Alexey Pertsev is set to be released next week.
On Thursday, crypto educator Eléonore Blanc shared that Pertsev’s release had been approved by a court in the Netherlands. The developer will be freed on April 26, which incidentally happens to be his birthday.
I'm the source, I heard the judge at his 3rd pro forma hearing in Den Bosch today. 😁😁😁
— Eléonore Blanc 🔜 #ETHDam (@blockblanc) April 20, 2023
The conditions of his release involve electronic surveillance, which means Pertsev will have to wear an ankle monitor while he awaits trial at home.
“The most important thing is that he can walk around and work on his defense, something that was virtually impossible while detained,” said Blanc.
Pertsev was arrested in August by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), an agency that investigates financial crimes in the country. The arrest came shortly after U.S. authorities sanctioned Tornado Cash for its alleged ties to money laundering activities, specifically its alleged role in North Korea’s Lazarus Group laundering $7 billion worth of digital assets.
At the time of his arrest, Dutch prosecutors argued that Pertsev should not be granted bail because he was a flight risk, and could potentially tamper with evidence if he was to be released. Although the prosecutors did not provide details to support these charges, Pertsev remained in custody throughout the course of time since his arrest.
This extended detention sparked outrage within the crypto community and proponents of decentralization, who viewed the development as an attack on open-source development. A petition calling for his release garnered over 5,000 signatures.
According to Bitcoin developer Sjors Provoost, who was also present in court, the prosecutors did not bring any new revelations during the hearing.
“Prosecutor expects smart contracts to prevent deposits of criminal proceeds, which is essentially a ban,” said Provoost.