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SBF’s Legal Representative Requests Temporary Release Ahead of Upcoming Trial

The legal representative of Sam Bankman-Fried, Mark Cohen, has once again addressed Judge Lewis Kaplan, requesting the temporary release of the former FTX CEO from his incarceration. This plea comes in light of the upcoming trial against the United States Department of Justice. The main concern, as highlighted by Cohen, is the necessary preparation of SBF’s defense.

We believe it is extremely difficult, from a practical standpoint, to properly prepare for a trial with the current access restrictions in place.

Mark Cohen

Given the current constraints, Cohen has expressed the challenges of preparing for the trial, emphasizing the difficulties associated with the current restrictions. He has drawn attention to the vast volume of evidence presented by the government, which includes 50 testimonies and a multitude of documents and exhibits. Without the flexibility to discuss and strategize outside the confines of the courtroom, Cohen argues that the defense’s ability to “properly represent” Bankman-Fried is severely compromised.

The complexities of a complex case and the proposed release conditions

Highlighting the complex nature of the case, Cohen has underscored the importance of SBF’s involvement, particularly his “knowledge and insights” that he insisted are irreplaceable by third-party specialists. If the temporary release is approved, the conditions are explicitly defined: Sam Bankman-Fried should only be with his lawyers in their office or with a bodyguard in temporary residence in New York. Additionally, he would accept a gag order during the trial, limiting his communication only to his defense team, his parents, and his brother.

However, the path to his release is fraught with obstacles. Just four days before Cohen’s latest plea, a panel of three judges rejected a previous request for early release by SBF, deeming the defense’s arguments “unpersuasive.” Meanwhile, Kaplan granted motions effectively preventing all witnesses from supporting Sam Bankman-Fried during the trial.

As the countdown to the October 3 trial begins, Bankman-Fried prepares to defend himself against seven criminal charges involving alleged misappropriation of user funds at both FTX and Alameda Research. And while he pleads not guilty on all fronts, a subsequent trial awaits him in March 2024 with five additional charges.

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