- Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to testify in his defense, as confirmed by his attorney, Mark Cohen.
- The defense is expected to call two other witnesses and complete their case within three days after the prosecution wraps up.
- Judge Kaplan has highlighted the possibility of a special verdict.
Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is set to take the stand in his ongoing criminal trial.
Mark Cohen, leading SBF’s defense team, made the revelation during a telephone meeting on October 25th involving legal counsels from both sides and Judge Lewis Kaplan.
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After the prosecution concludes its case on October 26th, the defense is expected to present three witnesses, including Bankman-Fried himself. Kaplan has allowed a seamless transition from the prosecution’s last witness to the first defense witness on the same day.
According to Cohen, the defense’s side of the trial should be wrapped up in three days. The defense plans to bring in a lawyer from the Bahamas, Joseph Pimbley of litigation consulting firm PF2 Securities, and another individual to shed light on the roles and responsibilities of former FTX employees.
“Perhaps an hour” is what Judge Kaplan predicts the defense’s presentation might take, not counting the testimony from Bankman-Fried.
The prosecution is led by Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos, who emphasized that the charges against Bankman-Fried involve a count of wire fraud related to customer funds. Roos clarified:
The theory is that the defendant <SBF> made false representations and was in a trust relationship with depositors and took money.
Previous witnesses from FTX and Alameda, including Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, and Nishad Singh, admitted to criminal activities under oath, often pointing fingers at Bankman-Fried as the orchestrator.
Whether or not the prosecution will call rebuttal witnesses is still undecided and will hinge on the impact of Bankman-Fried’s testimony. Regarding the case’s possible outcomes, Judge Kaplan broached the idea of a special verdict, wherein the jury weighs in on factual matters without suggesting which side should prevail.
The testimony from Sam Bankman-Fried is keenly awaited, as it is yet unclear what arguments he will present to counter the criminal allegations against him. With the trial expected to resume on October 26th after a brief hiatus, both sides are gearing up for a potentially decisive phase of the proceedings.