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Lawyer for Sam Bankman-Fried resubmits request for his interim release from custody

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The attorney representing Sam Bankman-Fried has submitted a renewed request for his temporary release prior to his upcoming trial, citing the need for adequate preparation.

Mark Cohen, the legal representative for Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) in his impending legal battle against the United States Department of Justice, has lodged a fresh appeal for SBF’s temporary release from custody. This request is made in order to facilitate comprehensive trial preparation.

On September 25, Mark Cohen approached Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who presides over the case, to seek temporary release for SBF, emphasizing its indispensability for the thorough preparation of his defense. Cohen expressed significant challenges in adequately preparing for the trial due to the existing restrictions on access.

Cohen further elaborated that the government had presented the defense with an extensive list of 50 witnesses and an overwhelming volume of evidence and exhibits. He contended that they would be unable to “adequately represent” SBF unless they could freely consult with him and make preparations regarding the witnesses and evidence outside of the courtroom.

Cohen emphasized the highly technical and intricate nature of the case, asserting that SBF’s personal insight and knowledge were irreplaceable by third-party experts.

The terms of the renewed temporary release dictate that when not in the courtroom, SBF must either remain in the presence of his legal team at their workplace or be accompanied by a designated bodyguard in a temporary residence in New York City.

Additionally, it was stipulated that SBF would consent to a gag order for the duration of the trial, prohibiting him from communicating with anyone except his attorneys, defense team, immediate family, and other specified individuals.

On September 21, a three-judge panel denied the former CEO of FTX’s request for early release, deeming the arguments presented by his legal team “unpersuasive.”

On the same day, Judge Kaplan granted in limine motions from the prosecutors, which will now preclude certain witnesses from testifying on behalf of SBF in the forthcoming criminal trial.

Bankman-Fried’s initial criminal trial is slated for October 3, where he will face seven criminal charges related to the misuse of user funds during his tenure at FTX and Alameda Research. A second trial is scheduled for March 2024, where he will confront an additional five criminal charges. Bankman-Fried has entered a plea of not guilty to all counts.

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