Since his bail was revoked, Sam Bankman-Fried has been pleading for everything between “temporary” re-release, more computers, and more time to review the prosecution’s evidence.
FTX’s current defense strategy is to claim he acted in good faith, taking the advice of FTX’s legal team. Naturally, this would imply a lack of knowledge regarding the misdeeds committed during his tenure as CEO and, therefore, a need to review millions of pages of documents.
However, Judge Kaplan seems to have grown tired of requests for release and has set a deadline for any requests concerning the postponement of a trial.
Request Must Have Substance
A key factor in the defense’s requests is that the US government allegedly dumped four million pages of documents a mere six weeks before SBF’s trial. This narrative has been rejected by Judge Kaplan, who retorted that although the Slack messages sent by Gary Wang and others are indeed new, an extensive list of documents added as evidence is from SBF’s own Google Docs storage, which he could have reviewed at any time in the past.
Furthermore, Judge Kaplan reinforced his stance concerning the addition of new evidence, stating the US government had laid out from the beginning that new evidence would be added to case files as available.
Judge Kaplan: I’m not going to be precluding any of them [from use at trial.] In the defense’s letter of Aug 28, the accusations of broken promises are not at all accurate. In January the government made clear it would obtain information on an ongoing basis
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) August 30, 2023
Due to the above stance and deadlines imposed by the rule of law, Judge Kaplan stated that the 7th of September is the latest date that a trial postponement can be requested – with no guarantee of it being granted. This is partly due to the fact that the members of the grand jury must be requested no later than that date.
“These Google documents, the defendants had essentially unfettered access […] until he was detained on August 11. Now the defense claims concerning an alleged deluge of documents are seriously exaggerated. […] If the defendant feels he needs a postponement, they can ask for it. I’m not saying I would necessarily grant it. They’d have to demonstrate a need – not just recount the number of documents. There’s got to be more meat on those bones.”
Bahamian Government Must Agree to Trial Date
Should SBF’s request – which Judge Kaplan also indicated would be best received by Friday – be considered legitimate by the US Government, it must also be approved by the Bahamian legal system.
If the request is filed and approved, SBF’s trial will be moved to the 11th of March.
Until then, barring a surprising change in circumstances, SBF would remain incarcerated, and his legal team would be held responsible for extra power cords and so on.