Binance Gambaryan’s Defense Kicks off as Lawyers Start Hot

Months after the start of proceedings in the case, Gambaryan’s lawyers were finally given the chance to take the offense. 

Tigran Gambaryan ready for a fight in a defensive position surrounded by flames.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Binance’s Tigran Gambryan’s defense has kicked off.
  • During cross-examination of a prosecution witness, Gambaryan’s lawyers sought to define his role at Binance clearly.
  • Gambaryan’s health remains a cause for concern as proceedings intensify.

The wooden panels in Nigeria’s Federal High Court Abuja echoed with murmurs as the crowd anticipated yet another witness grilling in the money laundering case against Binance and its financial crime compliance chief Tigran Gambaryan.

Looking set to pull no punches, Gambaryan’s lawyers made their way to the bench with stern expressions and brisk movements. Months after the start of proceedings in the case, it was finally time for them to take the offense. 

Gambaryan’s Lawyers Put Prosecution’s Witness Against the Ropes

Spotting a plain grey shirt and a pair of jeans, a weathered Tigran Gambaryan instinctively limped to the dock in Nigeria’s Federal High Court Abuja in the Tuesday, July 2, hearing observed by my colleague, DailyCoin reporter Grace Abidemi.

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On Tuesday, however, the Binance mid-level manager’s typically vacant expression gave way to focus and attention with brows furrowed and eyes narrowed as he fought off fits of cough to scribble down notes. 

During the hearing, his lawyers attempted to define the role of the executive at Binance clearly. 

Prodding the prosecution’s first witness SEC Director Abdulkadir Babo Abbas with questions like “Are you aware that the second defendant is a cybercrime investigator?” and “Based on what you have said earlier, the work of a cybercrime investigator is post-transaction, is that correct? Please sir, answer yes or no first” they sought to establish that Gambaryan simply functioned as an investigator called in when there is suspicion that a crime has been committed with no oversight or influence over the firm’s operations.

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Beyond potentially setting the stage for an argument that Gambaryan, in his capacity, could not be held accountable for the alleged actions of Binance, they also poked holes at the claim that the activities facilitated by the exchange fell under the purview of the SEC, using the analogy of a person that purchases land to sell for a profit at a later date.

Meanwhile, Gambaryan’s health remains a cause for concern as proceedings intensify.

Tigran Gambaryan’s Health Still in Question

After weeks of strain in Nigerian detention, on May 23, the Binance executive collapsed in court. In June, U.S. lawmakers had reported that a mid-level Binance manager was suffering from malaria and double pneumonia while being held under unsavory conditions in Nigeria’s infamous Kuje Prison.

In between fits of coughing and a noticeable limp in recent hearings, it is apparent that Gambaryan has yet to fully recover despite several assurances from the Nigerian government of the Binance executive’s access to quality healthcare. 

On Monday, July 1, Gambaryan’s lawyers argued that his health remained “at risk” as the Nigerian Correctional Service had failed to comply with requests to release the results of his medical tests.

The judge has since demanded that the Nigerian Correctional Service turn over these results by the next hearing in the case on Friday, July 5. Friday’s hearing will kick off with testimony from Olubukola Akinwunmi, the country’s central bank head of payments policy and regulation.

On the Flipside

  • On June 14, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria’s tax authority, struck out Gambaryan’s name from tax evasion charges against Binance after the exchange appointed an agent in the country.
  • Nigerian authorities maintain that Gambaryan has been afforded access to quality healthcare.

Why This Matters 

Tigran Gambaryan entered Nigeria in February 2024 at the invitation of authorities to discuss concerns about Binance’s operations. However, this seemingly innocuous visit turned into a months-long detention, during which the Binance executive spent over 120 days in unsavory conditions away from his family and friends.

Read this for more on Tigran Gambaryan’s detention:
Tigran Gambaryan Is Still Detained After 100+ Days: What’s Going On?

See how Buterin thinks Ethereum can boost UX with faster transaction confirmations:
Vitalik Eyes Better Ethereum UX Through Faster Confirmations

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.