Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal representative asserts that the provided inquiries subtly insinuate his involvement in fraudulent activities and money laundering.
In a legal document filed on September 29, attorney Mark Cohen, who stands as the legal counsel for Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, contends that the questions slated for the upcoming fraud trial jury selection are poised to elicit biased responses.
Cohen asserts that the United States government’s proposed set of questions for jury selection carries an inherent bias that could potentially lead to an unjust trial for his client.
“The government’s proposed voir dire process discourages prospective jurors from fully disclosing their views, fails to extract adequate information for the defense to assess potential juror biases, and risks prejudicing the jury by presenting allegations in a biased manner,” Cohen states.
Furthermore, Cohen argues that the language employed in the jury selection questions already conveys a prejudiced viewpoint, presupposing Sam Bankman-Fried’s guilt in matters of fraud and money laundering.
“Specifically, by referring to ‘his fraud’ rather than ‘his alleged fraud’ or simply ‘fraud,’ the final sentence in paragraph 3 inappropriately insinuates that fraud on the part of Mr. Bankman-Fried is an established fact.”
Cohen emphasizes the paramount importance of the court reminding potential jurors that Sam Bankman-Fried is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In addition, Cohen advocates for the adoption of the jury selection process proposed by Sam Bankman-Fried.
However, it’s worth noting that Cointelegraph recently reported that the U.S. government opposed Sam Bankman-Fried’s suggested questions, deeming them unnecessary and time-consuming.
Particularly, the U.S. government expressed objections to Bankman-Fried’s inquiries regarding pretrial media coverage, the philosophical tenets of effective altruism, political contributions and lobbying activities, as well as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The process of jury selection is slated to commence on October 3, preceding the commencement of the trial on October 4.
As per a recently released trial schedule, the month of October will witness a total of 15 full trial days, with an additional six scheduled for November.
Meanwhile, Sam Bankman-Fried has remained in detention at the Metropolitan Detention Center since August 11. U.S. Judge Lewis Kaplan has consistently denied his numerous requests for temporary release to adequately prepare for the impending trial.