A federal judge agreed to hear the defense arguments of Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, against a newly released batch of 4 million pages of evidence. The evidence was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice less than six weeks before Bankman-Fried’s trial, which is scheduled for October 3, 2023. The defense team has raised concerns about the timing of this evidence release, arguing that it hampers their client’s ability to prepare for trial adequately.
Legal team objects to late evidence release
Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an order on August 26 requesting the government to respond to letters from Bankman-Fried’s legal team. The letters questioned the appropriateness of the late evidence release and requested that the government be prevented from using any evidence produced after July 1. Attorneys representing Bankman-Fried argued that the government should not be permitted to provide the defense with “millions of pages” less than six weeks prior to trial. The judge granted the defense the opportunity to present their case during a video-conference hearing, which is scheduled for August 30.
Charges and jail conditions
Bankman-Fried is facing 12 criminal charges, which include allegations of using user funds for personal expenses, political campaign donations, and investments without authorization.
He pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges in an updated indictment. His lawyers also raised concerns about his treatment in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, where he has been held since his bail was revoked on August 11. They argued that the lack of vegan food options and medical care in the detention center violated his Sixth Amendment rights.
Bankman-Fried lost his right to remain free on bail after a judge decided that he had tried to influence witnesses against him. His lawyers renewed their request for his release so he could adequately prepare for his trial. They also appealed the ruling to jail him to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the face of these challenges, Bankman-Fried’s defense team is grappling with an enormous volume of evidence while also dealing with subpar jail conditions. The late release of millions of pages of documents has raised questions about the fairness of the legal process, especially considering the proximity to the trial date.
With the trial date fast approaching, the defense team faces an uphill battle in sifting through the voluminous evidence, a situation that could set a precedent in the crypto industry.