Less than two weeks after having his bail revoked, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, has filed a request to be allowed out of jail during weekdays in order to prepare for his upcoming trial. His legal team argues that the current conditions in jail are too restrictive and do not allow him to adequately prepare for his defense. The request comes after Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bond was revoked due to allegations of witness tampering. Since then, he has been held at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, which is known for its poor conditions. However, Judge Kaplan has yet to rule on the request and has asked for alternative solutions to the document review problem.
The prosecution has accused Bankman-Fried of being late in presenting his defense strategy and has requested that he be disqualified from using his planned defense strategy if he does not provide all related information within the next few days. In response, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argue that he has been unable to review the evidence against him due to his confinement at the detention center. They point out that the government recently produced three-quarters of a million pages of Slack communications, which Bankman-Fried will have difficulty reviewing under the current schedule.
Judge Kaplan has declined to rule in favor of Bankman-Fried’s request for weekday freedom. Instead, he has requested alternative solutions to the document review problem. One option suggested was to provide all documents on hard drives that would be delivered to the detention center, but this was deemed unfeasible. Another suggestion was to transfer Bankman-Fried to a smaller prison where internet access could be provided under supervision, but this was also met with resistance from the prosecution and prison officials. For now, Bankman-Fried will remain in custody at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center while his situation is further reviewed by Judge Kaplan.
It remains to be seen how this request will be resolved and what impact it will have on Bankman-Fried’s ability to prepare for his trial. The case against him involves allegations of witness tampering and inappropriate liaisons with former FTX colleagues. As one of the leading figures in the cryptocurrency industry, his trial has garnered significant attention and could have implications for the broader crypto community.