Pre-Trial Detention Upheld: Sam Bankman-Fried's Release Bid Denied by Judge

Police & Regulations
Sep 13, 2023 at 01:03 pm

FTX's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, faces a trial next month, as the U.S. federal judge has denied his request for temporary release. Judge Lewis Kaplan stated that Bankman-Fried's current situation is a consequence of his own actions, rejecting his multiple attempts for pretrial release. Following his arrest, Bankman-Fried was initially granted bail, but it was revoked by a judge in the Southern District of New York after evidence of witness interference emerged.

Bankman-Fried's legal team, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, contended that he requires access to online databases for vital discovery materials and collaborative work on a shared document. The Department of Justice countered, asserting that he already has regular access to laptops and the internet. The defense argued that this level of access was insufficient for his defense preparations.

The judge remained unpersuaded, emphasizing that no defendant, including Bankman-Fried, has an absolute right to scrutinize every piece of discovery. He noted the substantial representation provided by Bankman-Fried's capable retained lawyers.

Additionally, the judge dismissed arguments for granting more daily time for Bankman-Fried to work on his defense. Both the prosecution and defense sought a trial date in September or October, which was granted. The defense had the opportunity to request a trial date postponement, but they chose not to.

The judge concluded that any time pressure faced by the defendant due to the impending trial date and limited access to electronically stored materials is a consequence of his own actions. He suggested that the defense could submit a more substantiated application in the future.

It's worth noting that the defense team has appealed Judge Kaplan's decision to revoke Bankman-Fried's bail. A three-judge panel from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will review the case, although a hearing date has not yet been set.

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