Sam Bankman-Fried's Ongoing Court Proceedings: Daily Releases Requested
The arraignment of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, is set to take place on Tuesday. Recently, his legal team has made a request to allow him access to defense documents at a federal prosecutor's office on a daily basis.
Sam Bankman-Fried will be allocated approximately five and a half hours each day to collaborate with his legal representatives. This time frame excludes any procedures related to his most recent indictment, which combines allegations related to campaign finance with existing charges.
Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not guilty to a majority of the charges, now faces an updated indictment that incorporates new charges due to the necessity of dropping the specific campaign finance allegation under treaty obligations with the Bahamas. Following a ruling by a federal judge, Bankman-Fried was recently held in custody for violating his bond conditions by attempting to influence or intimidate witnesses against him.
The request from his legal team entails providing Bankman-Fried access to two laptops with internet connectivity and two "mobile WiFi devices" within conference rooms at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the courthouse. This access is proposed for each weekday, enabling him to work on his defense throughout August 22, 2023.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing the case in the Southern District of New York, had previously shown openness to considering requests for temporary release into counsel's offices.
As of Monday at 5:00 p.m. ET, Judge Kaplan had not yet issued a decision regarding the daily access request. Nevertheless, he did rule that Bankman-Fried could meet his lawyers in the U.S. Marshals Service attorney room between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Furthermore, Judge Kaplan reduced the number of laptops and WiFi-enabled devices from two each to only one.
In response, the Department of Justice expressed its uncertainty in a filing on Friday, stating, "The Government is left to speculate whether the defendant claims to have received legal advice regarding the deletion of Slack and Signal messages – a defense he hinted at during the August 11, 2023 conference... or whether his fraudulent appropriation of billions of dollars was fully disclosed to legal counsel, who sanctioned the actions, or whether the defendant received legal counsel on any other specific aspect of the conduct in question, or a combination of these defenses, or something else entirely."