Reports are emerging that Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal team is gearing up for a pretrial release hearing before the U.S. appeals court on Tuesday.
This comes as the billionaire founder of the now-defunct exchange FTX prepares for his trial on October 3.
Bankman-Fried’s initial plea for release was overruled last month, with prosecutors arguing that he had been undermining the credibility of a state witness, Caroline Ellison, a former executive at Alameda Research.
In the upcoming hearing, Bankman-Fried’s legal team and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office will each have five minutes to present their case in front of a three-judge panel on the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals.
Previously, Bankman-Fried had been granted release from jail through a $250 million bond imposed by the courts.
However, on August 11, Bankman-Fried’s fortunes took a sharp turn as he was thrown into jail when U.S. District Judge Kaplan Lewis revoked his $250 million bond.
In response, SBF argued that his detention violated his First Amendment rights to engage with the press and repair his damaged reputation.
Furthermore, he passionately claims that his Sixth Amendment rights are being violated due to limited access to his legal team and difficulties obtaining resources for his defense while incarcerated.
Just a week ago, Judge Kaplan, in a written ruling, rejected SBF’s plea for pretrial release, citing insufficient compelling reasons. The judge mentioned that issues like limited internet access for trial preparation were not substantial.
The judge noted that any difficulties faced by Bankman-Fried were of his own making and expressed readiness to consider a trial delay if requested. Prosecutors believe that Bankman-Fried’s preparation challenges are unique compared to other detainees.
It’s worth noting that Bankman-Fried is accused of attempting to tamper with witnesses by publicizing the personal writings of Caroline Ellison through a New York Times reporter.
Prosecutors argue that this was an attempt to discredit a government witness who has pleaded guilty to fraud and will testify against him. Reports suggest that Caroline Ellison and Sam Bankman-Fried were once romantically involved.