Before his October fraud trial, Sam Bankman-Fried’s formidable legal team is advocating for the FTX founder’s provisional release from custody. Attorneys Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell argue in a motion submitted on Thursday that Bankman-Fried’s access to discovery materials, which are necessary to help him prepare his defense against claims that he deceived investors and abused FTX client cash, is being denied, which violates his Sixth Amendment rights.

Letter Claims FTX Founder’s Rights Breached: Lawyers Demand Expanded Trial Prep Access

The attorneys claim Bankman-Fried requires “constant access” to a laptop with internet access so he may browse through millions of pages of documents, look up background information online, create analyses of the evidence, and communicate with his legal team.

The lawyers claim that Bankman-Fried is deprived of the 80 to 100 hours he spent preparing before going to jail under the current arrangement, which allows him only 12 hours per week using a courthouse computer without internet.

They also complain that the government has flooded them with 4 million additional pages of discovery records this week, calling it “fundamentally unfair” to do so so soon before the trial begins in October. The attorneys want Bankman-Fried temporarily released or, at the very least, given increased computer access while he is in custody so he can effectively contribute to the development of his defense.

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According to Bankman-Fried’s attorneys:

It would probably be difficult for Mr. Bankman-Fried to finish analyzing these materials by the time of trial, even if he were released on bond and given unlimited time to do so. Another instance of the government throwing a ton of evidence at the defense months after the deadlines it promised the court to set for discovery

Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bail was revoked by Judge Lewis Kaplan last month, who had earlier said the founder would have unrestricted access to the jail for trial preparation. However, according to Bankman-Fried’s attorneys, the preparation so far is insufficient in comparison to what he received while free on bond.

According to Everdell’s memo, the government’s proposal is unsatisfactory and infringes on Mr. Bankman-Fried’s Sixth Amendment rights. The attorney added, “Nor does it satisfy the Court’s expectation that Mr. Bankman-Fried would have “extremely liberal” access to discovery available “nine, ten, eleven, or twelve hours a day.”


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