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Judge says Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have until Sept. 1 to request a trial postponement: Report

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Lawyers representing former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, or SBF, have reportedly not asked for a different trial date in order to prepare, but a federal judge has offered a limited window to do so.

According to an Aug. 30 X thread from Inner City Press, Judge Lewis Kaplan said the deadline for requesting a jury based on Bankman-Fried’s trial start date was Sept. 7. SBF’s lawyers reportedly said they “chose an aggressive date” in which the former FTX CEO would have the opportunity to clear his name, but did not entirely rule out requesting more time to prepare as a result of alleged issues with access to discovery materials.

“If the defendant feels he needs a postponement, they can ask for it,” said Kaplan according to the thread. “I’m not saying I would necessarily grant it. They’d have to demonstrate a need — not just recount the number of documents. There’s got to be more meat on those bones.”

The Aug. 30 hearing focused on motions from SBF’s lawyers requesting temporary release for the former FTX CEO in order to prepare for his Oct. 3 criminal trial. Kaplan revoked Bankman-Fried’s bail on Aug. 11, leading to his remand at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. His legal team has argued the lack of consistent access to the internet and documents related to his case was inadequate for trial preparation.

“[Bankman-Fried] is able to review discovery 70 hours a week,” reportedly said Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon. “Counsel can visit him 7 days a week. This is not a pro se defendant — he has many lawyers and experts, who prepare around the clock.”

Related: DOJ calls SBF’s fraud allegation defense ‘irrelevant,’ requests additional info

Kaplan said he would accept motions from SBF’s defense team and prosecutors by Sept. 1 and rule on them by the following week — Sept. 4, Labor Day, is a national holiday in the United States. These filings included Bankman-Fried’s defense strategy of arguing he largely acted “in good faith” on advice of previous counsel in regard to his alleged actions at FTX and Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried faces 12 criminal charges, which will be spread across two trials scheduled to begin on Oct. 2, 2023 and March 11, 2024. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

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