Bankman-Fried’s lawyers are making a desperate attempt to get FTX co-founder out of jail.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is making a second attempt in a week for pre-trial release through his legal team. The lawyers have cited insufficient internet connectivity at the federal jail as a significant obstacle to their client’s defense preparation.
In a court filing dated September 8th, the attorneys for Bankman-Fried point out that an earlier request for immediate release was denied by the Appellate judge on September 6th. That motion has since been passed on to a three-judge panel for further consideration.
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Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal team takes issue with the government’s previous assurances, stating that their client has not received the promised access to a laptop from 8 AM to 7 PM on weekdays. The lawyers highlighted multiple instances when SBF’s internet access was cut short due to jail proceedings, hampering his defense preparation.
In one instance on September 1st, Bankman-Fried was returned to his cell at 2:30 PM for headcount, losing valuable hours that could have been spent on case preparation.
A second incident occurred on September 6th, when he was not released from his cell until 11:00 AM, and a weak internet connection allowed him to review only a single document from the discovery database. The lawyers state in their filing:
Mr. Bankman-Fried has no way to review and search documents in the discovery database or the AWS database before the trial. The defendant cannot prepare for trial with these kinds of limitations.
Sam Bankman-Fried was initially arrested in the Bahamas on December 12th, 2022. Following his arrest, the man was released on a $250 million bond and stayed mainly at his parents’ home in California.
However, his bail was revoked on August 11th after he attempted to contact and intimidate former FTX executives and witnesses involved in the lawsuit against him. Since the revocation of his bail, multiple appeals have been made for his pre-trial release. The court, however, has been reluctant to approve these requests, citing SBF’s previous violations of bail conditions.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers are making a determined case for their client’s pre-trial release, citing inadequate internet facilities that severely impair his ability to prepare for the trial. Whether or not the court will find these arguments compelling enough to grant the release remains to be seen.