A three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reportedly taken arguments from lawyers representing former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) under advisement in considering releasing him from jail prior to his October trial.
SBF's defense team and the U.S. Attorney's office were each given roughly five minutes to argue before a panel of judges on Sept. 19. One of the judges reportedly claimed the SBF legal team's First Amendment argument "has no play anymore" based on Bankman-Fried's alleged attempts to intimidate witnesses including Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research.
Lawyers representing Bankman-Fried pushed for release due to the need for Internet access in preparation for trial, also claiming the U.S. District Court "erred" in denying their First Amendment arguments for release. Bankman-Fried previously admitted to releasing Ellison's private journals to a New York Times reporter, resulting in some of its contents being published.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon reportedly acknowledged "there have been some issues with the Internet" during SBF's confinement at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn but suggested he had had time to prepare his case.
"The incident with Ms. Ellison shows an intent to interfere with a fair trial," said Sassoon. "The judge was correct to say the 1st Amendment had nothing to do with it. It was tampering. Counsel does not dispute that the content put Ms. Ellison in an unfavorable light."
Related: FTX founder’s parents sued, accused of stealing millions from crypto exchange
Bankman-Fried has argued his time in jail violated his First Amendment rights and impaired his ability to properly prepare for his trial, scheduledRead more on cointelegraph.com