Push for Sam Bankman-Fried's 'Temporary Release' Ahead of October Trial

Police & Regulations
Aug 28, 2023 at 01:29 pm

Earlier this month, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, saw his bond revoked due to violations of bail conditions as determined by Judge Lewis Kaplan. Bankman-Fried's legal team has now submitted a fresh motion with the aim of securing his "temporary release" or arranging for him to meet with his defense team five days a week. This request is grounded in Bankman-Fried's right to participate in preparing his own defense, particularly concerning the digital documents necessary for review, which are exclusively accessible online.

The defense team argues that Bankman-Fried's Sixth Amendment rights, which entail the ability to contribute to defense preparation and receive effective legal assistance, are being compromised due to his incarceration. They assert that only a temporary release or frequent meetings in a conducive environment would properly address these concerns and ensure his participation in the defense process.

In the motion filed last Friday letter, Bankman-Fried's attorney, Christian Everdell, stressed the importance of Bankman-Fried's access to a laptop with internet connectivity. This is essential for reviewing the vast number of documents amassed during the discovery phase and for maintaining an organized spreadsheet of essential information. The defense asserts that the current limitations on laptop usage – six hours a day, twice a week – imposed by Judge Kaplan at the federal courthouse, are inadequate, especially considering Bankman-Fried's previous rigorous work schedule of "80-100 hours a week."

Bankman-Fried's access to a laptop at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) is severely restricted; he lacks internet access and the laptop's battery life is limited. The defense has been sending hard drives to the MDC to aid his review process, but without a suitable laptop, he remains unable to effectively prepare for his trial.

Additionally, Bankman-Fried's legal team expressed concerns about the Department of Justice's ongoing document productions, which included over 4 million new pages of documents recently. They contend that there isn't enough time to adequately review this influx of information before the trial, which is scheduled to commence in early October.

Judge Kaplan has directed the prosecutors to respond to the defense's letter, as well as another previous communication detailing one of Bankman-Fried's planned defense strategies, by August 29. A virtual hearing to address the discovery issues is set for the following day. Bankman-Fried faces a trial involving seven distinct charges, encompassing offenses such as wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities and commodities fraud.

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