What Is SBF’s Request?
In a letter addressed to Judge Kaplan, the Judge in charge of Sam Bankman-Fried’s case, the Defense’s lawyers have requested that the court order a temporary release of their client for the duration of his trial. They argued that this release was necessary for the preparation of his defense.
They noted their difficulties building a defense for their client with the current restrictions. Furthermore, SBF’s input is highly needed due to the “highly technical and complex” nature of the case, as he knows certain facts that are critical in preparing his defense. This “knowledge and insight” is something that they believe cannot be replicated by third-party experts.
The lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried highlighted certain parts of Judge Walker’s ruling during the appeal, where he mentioned the possibility of finding a workable solution for SBF to adequately prepare for his trial and have access to his attorneys as this could be raised as a ground for appeal if the trail didn’t go in SBF’s favor.
They further argue that a temporary release is warranted as they will have less access to their client (at the MDC where he is being held) once the trial begins. According to them, this further weakens their case as they need to regularly meet with Sam Bankman-Fried to discuss what went on in court on that day and prepare their case for the next day.
To alleviate any concerns the court might have, his lawyers proposed that Sam Bankman-Fried lives at a temporary residence in New York City for the duration of his trial under the strict surveillance of a security guard.
This security guard will also ensure that their client doesn’t have access to electronic devices, nor will anyone be allowed to visit him. They also stated that Sam Bankman-Fried is willing to consent to a gag order that will prevent him from speaking to anyone aside from his lawyers and close relatives.
The DOJ Responds To Sam Bankman-Fried
In response to Sam Bankman-Fried’s request, the Department of Justice (DOJ) also sent a letter to Judge Kaplan asking that the defendant’s temporary release be denied. According to the government, SBF and his lawyers have failed to explain how his “personal inability” will impede his defense.
The DOJ also said that the defense has continued to state “generalizations” about how SBF’s lawyers have restricted time with him, something peculiar to all incarcerated defendants, rather than explaining why his participation is necessary for his attorneys preparing his defense.
As to the proposed conditions for his release, the DOJ tagged this as “plainly inadequate.” They stated that SBF violated his bail conditions under similar conditions, which he is now proposing. As such, the motion should be denied as the “dangers of his release” outweigh the “inconveniences of his detention.”
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