Sam Bankman-Fried Refiles for Temporary Release Ahead of Trial – Sam Bankman-Fried, the creator of the defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has once again appealed for temporary release from custody amid his ongoing trial. His legal team submitted a letter to the presiding judge on Monday, resuming the request process.
This series of events began in August when his bond release was revoked, leading to his imprisonment, following a judge’s determination that he may have attempted to interfere with witnesses. On September 12, Bankman-Fried’s attempt to reverse this decision was declined, and on September 21, an appeals court rejected his bid to overturn the ruling.
In its latest ruling the court “did not foreclose a further application from the defense,” Bankman-Fried’s lawyers wrote, adding that it is “exceedingly difficult as a practical matter” to prepare for the trial. The legal team said it appreciated government efforts to provide Bankman-Fried with case materials and counsel. The attorneys contend that practical challenges, such as the government furnishing the defense with a list of over 50 potential witnesses, thousands of pages of documentation, and over 1,300 exhibits, make a strong case for temporary release.
They further explained that the uncertainty surrounding the government’s choice of witnesses and the sequence in which they would be called leaves them unable to adequately prepare for the next day’s witnesses and exhibits during the hours outside the courtroom. The renewed request seeks Bankman-Fried’s release on October 2, one day prior to his trial, and outlines five conditions he is willing to comply with.
When not in the courtroom, he must either be with his attorneys at their offices or an offsite workspace, or accompanied by a security guard at a temporary residence in New York City. He will also have the privilege of leaving the courthouse with his legal team to prepare for trial. Furthermore, Bankman-Fried will agree to a gag order, which restricts him from communicating with anyone except his attorneys, parents, and brother throughout the trial proceedings.
Additionally, a private security guard will be assigned to him from 10 p.m. onward to ensure he has no access to computers, cell phones, the Internet, television, or any electronic devices, addressing previous disputes over his access to a laptop computer between defense lawyers and prosecutors. “We are willing to accept any others (conditions) the Court deems necessary,” the lawyers said in the letter.