On Friday, the lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried argued that preparing for his criminal trial, which is scheduled to begin in October could become burdensome if he is not allowed to leave jail.
The attorneys want the disgraced crypto mogul to be released five times a week. There is a possibility that could end up throwing the FTX lawyers under the bus in the trial.
Currently, the co-founder of the FTX crypto exchange has been sent to a detention center in Brooklyn. He was taken in handcuffs after a federal judge revoked his bail over concerns of witness tampering.
Before his bail was revoked, he had been under house arrest at his parents’ home in California. A litany of criminal charges have been filed against Bankman-Fried.
These include those of money laundering and fraud, arising from his position as CEO of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange before its collapse last year in November.
He has pled not guilty to the charges. His lawyers claim that their client’s Six Amendment rights are being violated.
This is because there have been restrictions imposed on who can visit him and what he is permitted to access.
According to the lawyers, the Metropolitan Detention Center has set a schedule that allows meetings twice a week, which is untenable.
They stated that this schedule was a direct contradiction of the claims of ‘liberal’ access that had been promised by federal prosecutors.
The attorneys stated that considering the huge amount of discovery in the case, the existing schedule was inadequate.
They added that the only viable way was discovery review through the internet. His lawyers said that the current setup does not allow Bankman-Fried to review the 750,000 Slack messages that were recently produced in the case.
The attorneys went to visit their client on two occasions and they had to wait for about two to three hours before he was summoned, which resulted in wasted time.
Bankman-Fried’s attorneys put forward a remedy for the problem. They requested that their client be granted access to a room on weekdays at the Manhattan courthouse.
This is where his trial would take place. They want a room to be set aside for SBF where he can participate in the preparation of his legal defense.
His lawyers stated that with his high-profile trial drawing nearer, the accommodation would be ‘critical’. As part of the discovery process, he needs to be able to access 4 terabytes of data that has been gathered.
The attorneys further added that he would be able to share the materials through Google Drive and email in the proposed setup.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers submitted their request on Friday when federal prosecutors also made a filing of their own for clarity.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys have refused to share any details, as they disclosed on Thursday that an advise-of-counsel defense would now be adopted.
This means that Bankman-Fried would argue that he had not intended to break the law because he had been assured by a lawyer that the actions he took as the head of the crypto exchange were okay.