Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal team has agreed to a restrictive order prohibiting him from making any statements that could influence the ongoing criminal trial. They also argue that the gag order should apply to all witnesses in the case.
SBF Agrees To Gag Order
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, was the target of a gag order request made by the US government on July 20. They charged him with attempting to obstruct a fair trial by attacking Caroline Ellison, a former business partner, in an interview with the New York Times.
Bankman-Fried consequently consented to the gag order, which forbids him from saying anything to anyone outside of the courtroom as it might affect his trial. His legal team also requested that other potential witnesses, such as the current CEO of FTX, John Ray, be subjected to the same order.
Cohen & Gresser LLP, Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal representatives, sent a letter to New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on July 22. In the letter, they denied the allegations against Bankman-Fried but agreed to abide by the gag order.
A gag order is a court-issued legal order restricting sharing information or comments with the general public or unauthorized third parties. In this case, Bankman-Fried will be barred from publicly discrediting a government witness by revealing confidential information, which could create a bias for the jury.
Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys made an additional demand after he agreed to the gag order. They requested that the gag order extend to other parties and potential witnesses.
Such parties or witnesses include the US government, former employees of FTX (the cryptocurrency exchange), FTX Debtor entities, Alameda Research (an organization associated with Bankman-Fried), and any other individuals whose comments could affect the trial.
Reasons For The Request
While explaining the importance of their request, the lawyers cited a “toxic media environment” that has surrounded their client since the exchange stopped operations. This request seeks to prevent any potential bias or prejudice by any media coverage or public statements made by various individuals involved in the case to ensure a fair trial for their client.
SBF’s legal representatives further argued that the current FTX CEO had been consistently and unnecessarily attacking and portraying Mr. Bankman-Fried negatively through his public comments and filings during the FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings.
Hence, they claimed that Ray’s actions as an attempt to slander Bankman-Fried, and it had the potential to sway public opinion and the outcome of the bankruptcy proceedings. The law firm representing SBF also launched a scathing attack on the US government, accusing it of openly employing a double standard regarding the case.
They referenced the government’s flagrant use of specific media articles as weapons to tarnish SBF’s reputation while also advocating for a fair trial. SBF entered a not-guilty plea against a slew of fraud charges, maintaining that he remains innocent of the charges leveled against him.
Part of the allegations was that SBF was responsible for the collapse and subsequent bankruptcy of FTX. Meanwhile, the highly anticipated trial will begin on October 3, marking the beginning of SBF’s fight for his freedom.
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