- Lawyers for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have asked for a pre-trial release on the grounds that the federal prison’s internet access is inadequate.
- The attorneys also noted several instances where SBF’s use of a laptop for the Internet was restricted because of legal procedures.
Lawyers for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have asked for a pre-trial release on the grounds that the federal prison’s internet access is inadequate.
The legal team for SBF claimed that a slow internet connection interferes with their ability to prepare their defense and wastes time.
Following the Appellate judge’s denial of SBF’s plea for immediate release from jail on September 6, the court file dated September 8 represented the second such request for pre-trial release within the previous week. The motion was then forwarded to the subsequent three-judge panel by the judge.
The legal team for SBF asserted that despite government assurances that their client would have access to a laptop during the workweek, those assurances hadn’t been kept. The attorneys also noted several instances where SBF’s use of a laptop for the Internet was restricted because of legal procedures.
The first time was on September 1, when SBF lost four hours of preparation when he was summoned back to his cell at 2:30 p.m. for a headcount. On September 6, SBF was released from his cell for a second time at 11:00 a.m.
SBF attempted to access the discovery database, but the shoddy internet connection only allowed for the perusal of one document from the database. According to the legal team’s filing:
“Despite the Government’s efforts, there does not appear to be a way to solve the internet access problem in the cellblock. That means that Mr. SBF has no way to review and search documents in the discovery database or the AWS database before the trial. The defendant cannot prepare for trial with these kinds of limitations.”
SBF spent the majority of his time imprisoned in his parents’ California home after being freed on a $250 million bond following his arrest in the Bahamas on December 12 of last year.
On August 11, however, his bail was withdrawn after it was discovered that SBF had been attempting to get in touch with and intimidate former FTX employees and witnesses in the litigation.
Since then, SBF‘s legal team has submitted several petitions to ask for pre-trial release. However, judges reviewing those motions have reasoned that an immediate release cannot be granted because he has repeatedly broken bail conditions.