Sam Bankman-Fried's temporary release request denied as trial date looms

Former FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried is likely remain behind bars until his Oct. 3 trial commences after a United States District Court judge denied his request for temporary release.

On Sept. 12,  District Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Bankman-Fried’s claim that his trial preparation was hindered due to poor internet access in prison finding it wasn’t a sufficient ground to grant his release.

“The defendant had not made any detailed showing as to specific material that he claims he has been unable to access personally and the reasons why any such personal inability actually would impede his defense,” Kaplan explained.

Kaplan added Bankman-Fried’s lawyers can provide him with material to review on a hard drive to circumvent a potentially unreliable internet connection.

“There has been no suggestion that counsel is incapable of running any searches across the Relativity or AWS databases that defendant may desire and then providing him with the results.”

Bankman-Fried’s counsel previously complained about the prison’s poor internet connection in a Sept. 8 letter, explaining they would often need to wait up to 10 minutes for a website homepage to load.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried appeal against bail revocation ‘meritless’: Prosecutors

Bankman-Fried had a chance to request for the Oct. 3 trial date to be postponed but no request was made, Kaplan noted.

The former FTX CEO faces 12 criminal charges across two separate trials, with the second slated to commence on March 11, 2024. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

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