Hop across the pond —

Irish court orders alleged Silk Road admin to be extradited to US

Gary Davis tells Ars that he is likely to appeal in every possible way.

A 27-year-old Irishman who American prosecutors believe was a top administrator on Silk Road named “Libertas” has been approved for extradition to the United States.

According to the Irish Times, a High Court judge ordered Gary Davis to be handed over to American authorities on Friday.

In December 2013, federal prosecutors in New York unveiled charges against Davis and two other Silk Road staffers, Andrew Michael Jones (“Inigo”) and Peter Phillip Nash (“Samesamebutdifferent”). They were all charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.

After a few years of operation, Silk Road itself was shuttered when its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested in San Francisco in October 2013. Ulbricht was convicted at a high-profile trial and was sentenced to life in prison in May 2015.

In March 2015, Nash pleaded guilty and was released after being sentenced to time served two months later. Jones’ case remains pending.

Davis, who did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment, can appeal within 10 days. His Twitter account has been silent for days.

Last month, prior to the extradition hearings, Davis e-mailed Ars to say that he had not yet formally challenged the seizure of the Icelandic Silk Road server.

No challenge in relation to the Silk Road servers has formally been made by me. The extradition proceedings against me here are just that—proceedings, not a legal case to determine innocence or guilt—and there is no avenue under those proceedings with which I can challenge the FBI’s impossible explanation re: the Iceland server seizure.

However, I am currently appealing an obstruction of justice conviction in relation to the raid on my home by An Garda Síochána (the Irish police) at the behest of the FBI. Under the terms of the mutual legal assistance treaty between the US and Ireland, the word of a US law enforcement agency is taken at face value once enough evidence—circumstantial or otherwise—for a search warrant has been provided. Nothing is done to verify the legitimacy of that information, leaving the process wide open to abuse; for instance, if the US government had a political agenda against a person residing in Ireland, [it] could easily fabricate evidence in order to harass that person or damage their reputation with police raids, etc.

The above might seem far-fetched but given recent public revelations regarding the conduct of US law enforcement and intelligence agencies, it can be given a lot more weight by the judiciary here.

As part of my appeal I hope to be able to challenge the veracity of the information provided to the Irish police force by the FBI and where / how they initially located that information. Whether I can actually do that under Irish or [European Union] law is as yet unknown, but that is one of the avenues through which I hope to pursue my appeal.

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