Bankman-Fried's Lawyers Push For Temporary Release, Claim Incarceration Inhibits His Ability To Prepare For Trial

Zinger Key Points
  • Lawyers request the judge allow Sam Bankman-Fried to review documents at Metropolitan Detention Center five days a week.
  • Defense concerns that DOJ's recent release of over 4M pages of documents will not allow adequate review before trial.

Lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried are pushing for a temporary release or, at a minimum a provision for him to consult with his legal team five times a week.

Bankman-Fried's team argued his current incarceration hinders his ability to actively participate in his defense, given the online-only access to essential documents.

Defense attorney Christian Everdell stated in a recent letter, "We do not believe that anything short of temporary release will properly address these problems and safeguard Mr. Bankman-Fried’s right to participate in his own defense."

The letter further requests that Bankman-Fried be allowed access to an internet-enabled computer at 500 Pearl Street five days a week, under the supervision of his defense counsel, to review and collaborate on documents.

Earlier this month, the founder of FTX had his bond revoked.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is presiding over the case, determined Bankman-Fried tried to interfere with witnesses on multiple occasions, thereby breaching his bail terms.

His legal team immediately appealed this decision and sought to prevent his detention.

They highlighted the violation of "Bankman-Fried’s Sixth Amendment right to participate in preparing his defense and his right to receive effective assistance of counsel."

According to the defense, Bankman-Fried requires a laptop with internet capabilities to sift through the vast number of documents obtained during the discovery phase and to organize crucial information.

Everdell had previously emphasized the communication challenges, noting, "There is no way for him to effectively communicate his work product, his analyses to us."

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While Bankman-Fried can use a laptop at the federal courthouse in Manhattan, his usage is restricted to 12 hours weekly, a significant reduction from his previous 80-100 hours weekly commitment.

The laptop's limited battery life and weak internet connectivity further complicate matters. Moreover, while at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), he lacks both internet and laptop access.

The defense's letter highlighted, "Bankman-Fried does not have access to any discovery or work product at the MDC and has not had any such access since he was detained two weeks ago."

They also expressed concerns over the Department of Justice's recent release of over 4 million pages of documents, urging the judge to exclude any discovery documents shared post-July 1, citing insufficient time for review before the trial.

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Posted In: CryptocurrencyNewsLegalMarketscrypto exchangeFederal courthouse ManhattanFTXJudge Lewis KaplanMetropolitan Detention CenterSam Bankman-FriedSBFSixth Amendment rights
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