The US Government is countering the attorneys of former FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried, saying that they’re asking jurors “unnecessarily intrusive” questions.
In a new filing, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers proposed asking jurors various questions, such as if they’ve ever heard of the former CEO or his companies, formed opinions on him or the businesses or if they’ve already decided if he’s guilty or not.
The questions were part of the voir dire process, which is a preliminary examination into the partiality of the jurors.
In a separate filing, the US Government objects to nine of the proposed questions, which the prosecutors say counter the purpose of a voir dire, which is to ensure an impartial jury.
“The Government specifically objects to Questions 1 through 9 in Section A of the defendant’s proposed voir dire, which go well beyond what is necessary to ensure that the right to a fair trial is not prejudiced by pretrial publicity.
The defense requests numerous open-ended questions about what opinions potential jurors have formed about the case, the defendant, and the defendant’s companies, and asks whether potential jurors can ‘completely ignore’ what they have previously seen.
This is unnecessarily intrusive, and goes beyond the purpose of voir dire, which is to ensure that jurors can be fair and impartial irrespective of their prior experience, whether that be, for example, exposure to the press about the case, a previous incident as a crime victim, or a career in cryptocurrency.”
Bankman-Fried is currently awaiting trial in relation to the high-profile collapse of the crypto exchange FTX in 2022. He’s accused of mishandling billions of dollars worth of customer funds and defrauding investors. If convicted, he faces decades behind bars.
Last month, the judge in the case reportedly considered pushing back the trial date so Bankman-Fried has more time to review the evidence against him.
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