Sam Bankman-Fried FTX exchange is gearing up for a crucial pretrial release hearing before the U.S. appeals court. This hearing comes as he prepares to face trial on October 3.
Bankman-Fried’s initial plea for release was overturned last month after prosecutors argued that he was undermining the credibility of a key witness, Caroline Ellison, a former executive at Alameda Research.
The upcoming pretrial release hearing will involve presentations from Bankman-Fried’s legal team and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.
Each side will have five minutes to make their case in front of a three-judge panel at the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals. Previously, Bankman-Fried was released from jail on a $250 million bond set by the court.
However, on August 11, his fortunes took a dramatic turn as U.S. District Judge Kaplan Lewis revoked his $250 million bond, leading to his incarceration.
In his appeal, Bankman-Fried argued that his imprisonment violated his First Amendment rights by restricting his interactions with the media and his ability to repair his tarnished reputation.
He also contended that his Sixth Amendment rights were being violated due to his limited access to his legal team and the challenges of securing resources for his defense while in jail.
Just a week ago, Judge Kaplan issued a written ruling dismissing Bankman-Fried’s request for pretrial release, deeming the reasons insufficient.
The judge mentioned that issues like inadequate internet access to prepare for trial did not warrant his release.
Furthermore, the judge stated that, despite being open to delaying Bankman-Fried’s trial, no such request had been made by the defendant.
Prosecutors argued that Bankman-Fried’s preparation difficulties were not comparable to those of other detainees.
One key aspect of this legal battle centers around Bankman-Fried’s alleged attempt to tamper with witnesses by sharing the personal writings of Caroline Ellison through a New York Times reporter.
Prosecutors assert that this was an effort to discredit Ellison, a government witness who has already pleaded guilty to fraud and is set to testify against him. It’s worth noting that Caroline Ellison and Sam Bankman-Fried were reportedly once romantically involved.