The lawyers of disgraced former FTX head Sam Bankman-Fried are requesting his temporary release from prison ahead of his federal trial in the US.
According to new court documents, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys argue that the former FTX CEO needs to be out of prison in order to properly prepare for his trial in about six weeks.
The lawyers ask Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for Bankman-Fried’s temporary release or at least to allow them to meet with their client five days a week.
Say the attorneys,
“We do not believe that anything short of temporary release will properly address these problems and safeguard Mr. Bankman-Fried’s right to participate in his own defense. At the very least, however, we respectfully request that the Court reconsider its previous decision and order the Marshals to produce Mr. Bankman-Fried to the proffer rooms at 500 Pearl Street five days a week, where defense counsel can provide him with an internet-enabled computer that will permit him to review, edit, and share documents and work product with his attorneys. Defense counsel will be present with Mr. Bankman-Fried the entire time and will take back the laptop at the end of the session.”
The lawyers argue that the current situation is in violation of Bankman-Fried’s Sixth Amendment right “to participate in preparing his defense” and his right “to receive effective assistance of counsel.”
Bankman-Fried was out on a $250 million bail and staying at his parent’s house in Palo Alto, California following his arrest in December. But federal prosecutors successfully had his bail revoked earlier this month based on allegations that he engaged in witness tampering.
His attorneys argue that Bankman-Fried’s stay at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) prison reduces his access to discovery in the case “from seven days a week/80-100 hours a week to (at most) two days a week/six hours a day.”
They also argue that Bankman-Fried is facing a number of technical limitations during those two weekly six-hour sessions at the 500 Pearl Street courthouse.
According to the attorneys, the laptop “has limited battery life” and “the internet connection is weak.”
They also argue that the laptop does not permit Bankman-Fried to access files that he has previously created, and it does not allow him to share his work with his lawyers.
The former CEO faces a slew of charges related to the November collapse of FTX that are based on allegations he defrauded customers and mishandled billions of dollars worth of their funds.
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