The Supreme court of Russia has accepted for consideration the cassation appeal in the case of lock information resource about cryptocurrency Bitcoininfo.ru, said a leading lawyer of the project «Roskomsvoboda», partner of the law firm «Center of digital rights,» representing the interests of the owners of the resource Sarkis Darbinyan. According to experts, the decision of the court on this process can become a precedent for all cases of blocking of cryptocurrency sites.
Cassation lock Bitcoininfo.ru was submitted to the judge of the Supreme court 16 February, 21 March the scheduled meeting, to information on the court’s website. Third party to the process involved Roskomnadzor.
The decision to block Bitcoininfo.ru was issued the Vyborg district court of Saint-Petersburg in July 2016.
«The case was initiated by the local district attorney, and as it usually happens in such cases, the trial was conducted without any involvement of the site administration, who learned of the judgment only after the actual restriction of access to it, that is, at the time of execution of the judgment, when the time for appeal has expired,» – said Darbinyan.
According to him, the current legislation does not prohibit the dissemination of information on crypto currencies, electronic money and new technology payments, and the website did not offer the implementation on the platform of any transaction between participants of the cryptocurrency circulation, what he is accused. The defense tried to appeal this decision to the Saint Petersburg city court, but the court refused to consider it for formal reasons, the lawyer says. After that, the owners of the resource have decided to appeal to the Supreme court.
In may 2017, the Oktyabrsky district court of St. Petersburg ruled to block 40 of the crypto sites for similar reasons.
«Crypto-currencies, including bitcoin, are money substitutes, contribute to the growth of the shadow economy and cannot be used by citizens and legal entities on the territory of Russia. Free dissemination of information about e-currency makes active use of cryptocurrencies to trade in drugs, weapons, counterfeit documents and other criminal activities», – stated in the decision of the court of first instance.
However, in 2018, St.-Petersburg city court cancelled this decision and has directed business on new consideration by other structure of court.
According to «Roskomsnab», on the territory of Russia at least several tens of sites with the word bitcoin in the title is blocked on the basis of decisions of the courts and at the request of the Federal tax service (FTS), which has the authority to initiate pre-trial blocking for illegal organization and conduct of online gambling and lotteries.
According to Darbinian, the case Bitcoininfo.ru – this first come down to the consideration of the Supreme court the complaint of the decision on blocking. Before that, the Supreme court found no grounds for referring the case to the court of cassation, because they believed that the rights of the owners of the sites are not disturbed, despite the fact that the site is blocked.
The lawyers of the Centre of digital rights believe that the adoption of this complaint is not only important in the context of contentious locks information resources about cryptocurrency, but for the Internet industry in General.
For several years the center has filed at least 20 complaints to the Supreme court in various decisions of regional courts on the recognition of one or another posted on the sites illegal.
«We drew the court’s attention to the obvious violation of procedural rights of owners of sites that never attracted to such processes, and trumped the arguments of the prosecutors coming up with new reasons for blocking sites. However, each time we ran into the same thing – refusal to transfer complaints to the court of cassation,» says Sarkis Darbinyan.
If the Supreme court overturned the judicial acts of lower courts, the case will be presidentialroom not only for the crypto community, but for all those whose websites are blocked illegally, he said.
According to the lawyer of lawyer Bureau «Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and partners» Maria Demina, the mere fact of a complaint to a judge of the Supreme court means that the court found grounds for review of judicial acts on the case.
«However, the assertion that the case will be «presidentialroom for those whose sites are blocked illegally,» is not quite correct – she said. – The legislation provides for different grounds for blocking. It can be assumed that the findings of the Supreme court will not question the legality of lock, and whether the cryptocurrency and information banned in Russia».
This decision really could become a precedent and to determine whether cryptocurrencies in Russia «money substitutes is prohibited».