Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan has set a September 7 for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to request a jury for his trial scheduled for October.
During an August 30 hearing, Judge Kaplan reportedly queried Bankman-Fried’s lawyers about potentially needing more time, to which they responded, “not at this time.“
The judge indicated that a request for a postponement could be considered if warranted by important reasons.
“If the defendant feels he needs a postponement, they can ask for it. I’m not saying I would necessarily grant it. They’d have to demonstrate a need — not just recount the number of documents. There’s got to be more meat on those bones,”
Judge Kaplan said.
This recent development unfolded during a hearing that focused on Bankman-Fried’s motions for temporary release from detention to adequately prepare for the impending trial.
Following allegations of attempting to tamper with witnesses, Judge Kaplan revoked Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bail on August 11, 2023. This led to his detention at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team contended that limited access to the Internet and case-related documents hindered his trial preparation. They have requested periodic release from detention to help him prepare thoroughly.
While the U.S. government attorneys proposed a two-day-a-week release, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys seek a five-day term.
Bankman-Fried is facing 12 criminal charges for his actions that culminated in the infamous FTX collapse. He has entered a not-guilty plea for all counts and will be subject to two trials starting on October 2, 2023. The second trial is scheduled for March 11, 2024, pending approval from the Bahamas, where he also faces charges.
During the upcoming trial, Bankman-Fried’s legal team are expected to highlight the influence of prior legal advisors on his decision-making process. They plan to present evidence showcasing the pivotal role played by Fenwick & West LLP and in-house legal experts in guiding significant actions throughout his tenure.
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