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Silk Road accused appears in court

Silk Road administrator Ross Ulbricht has appeared in court for the first time with prosecutors arguing that he is too much of a threat to the public to be granted bail as his legal team secured a delay in the date of the hearing.

Ulbricht, 29, denied all the charges that have been levelled against him for running the online marketplace that specialised in the sale and distribution of illegal drugs that were paid for using the anonymous currency, bitcoins. As well as this the defendant denied a charge of arranging for one of the site’s users to be killed.

"We deny all charges and that is the end of the discussion at this point," Mr Ulbricht's lawyer said, as his team was successful in securing a delay on the date of the bail hearing that will now take place on 9 October.

Prosecutors opposed the delay on the grounds that it was highly likely he would try to flee and due to the murder-for-hire charge levelled against him he represents a danger to the community.

The murder-for-hire charge dates back to his time working as administrator for Silk Road when it’s alleged Ulbricht attempted to arrange for the murder of a user of Silk Road due to a disagreement. Court documents released earlier this week stated that Canadian law enforcement authorities had no record of a homicide in White Rock, British Columbia at the time it was supposed to have taken place.

Silk Road was shut down earlier this week when Ulbricht was arrested by the FBI in San Francisco. He stands accused of operating the site from January 2011 to September 2013 on the Tor anonymous web browser with the charge of conspiracy to traffic narcotics levelled against him. The authorities also seized $3.6 million [£2.2 million] worth of bitcoins as part of the case – the biggest ever seizure of the virtual currency to date.