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FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Say DOJ Faked His Defense Materials Access.

In a fresh turn of events, attorneys for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried argue that prosecutors are inflating claims about their client’s access to vital defense materials. The dispute emerged in a memo released late Friday, which comes at a critical juncture in a case that has been closely monitored.

Defense attorney Mark Cohen asserts that Bankman-Fried faces considerable hindrances in crafting his defense due to inadequate internet access. Despite being placed in a cell block at the Southern District of New York courthouse, the entrepreneur hasn’t benefited from the level of computer and internet facilities that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has purportedly made available.

This issue adds another layer of complexity, as Bankman-Fried’s team has been ardently pressing for temporary release or enhanced computer access. They maintain that the current conditions violate his Sixth Amendment rights. Conversely, prosecutors insist that Bankman-Fried’s bail was justly revoked on public safety grounds, stating that he has sufficient access to defense resources.

Earlier this week, the DOJ claimed that Bankman-Fried had access to various resources. These include multiple hard drives with defense materials, an air-gapped laptop available daily, and a newly equipped internet-enabled laptop. However, the defense team retorts that these arrangements are theoretical and do not function effectively in practice. Judge Lewis Kaplan subsequently directed the defense to specify what they found lacking.

The defense’s Friday letter didn’t mince words. It outlined how Bankman-Fried could only load a single document due to dismal internet speeds during a recent courthouse appearance. The letter stated, “Effectively, Mr. Bankman-Fried had no access to the internet for the entire 5-hour period.” Cohen further highlighted that these constraints render it impossible for his client to prepare for trial adequately.

Moreover, Cohen revealed that Bankman-Fried doesn’t even have the full time on the air-gapped computer initially promised by prosecutors. This discord sets a concerning precedent, especially as a month has elapsed since Bankman-Fried’s bail was revoked. The defense team reemphasizes their plea for the Court to consider a temporary release, asserting that the ongoing limitations gravely hinder their preparation for the impending trial.


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