- SBF wants a witness to be barred from testifying in his criminal trial.
- His lawyers accused the prosecution of “gamesmanship.”
- The development comes as his trial begins today.
Embattled FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) wants to limit the prosecution’s use of a Ukrainian witness in his criminal trial, slated to begin on Tuesday, October 3, at the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City.
The development comes after the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on September 30 and submitted a motion in limine to permit the Ukrainian witness to testify remotely, arguing that his circumstances were unique, making international travel for testimony even “more problematic.”
According to the DOJ, the witness has lost a substantial part of his savings to the collapsed FTX exchange.
“Violation of Sixth Amendment Rights”
In a letter addressed to Judge Kaplan on Monday evening, SBF’s lawyers asked the court to deny the DOJ’s request, stating that the fallen crypto mogul has a constitutional right to “confront the witnesses against him” in court.
Per the attorneys, the DOJ’s request, if granted, would violate Bankman-Fried’s Sixth Amendment Right, which hinges heavily on face-to-face, in-court testimony.
“Because the testimony of FTX Customer-1 would be cumulative and therefore not “material” as required by Second Circuit law regarding remote trial testimony via two-way video, the proposed testimony would violate Mr. Bankman-Fried’s rights under the Confrontation Clause, and the Government’s motion should be denied,” the court document read.
SBF’s attorneys further accused the prosecution of “gamesmanship,” stating that the witness had been handpicked only to brew “sympathy and outrage” among the jury.
As the government intends to prove how SBF allegedly committed wire fraud and misused customer funds, his legal team sought whether they could argue his innocence with “prior good acts.”
Seeking further clarity, the attorneys submitted another letter on Monday, requesting the court’s position on whether SBF would be allowed to present his charitable and philanthropic side and whether he could offer evidence on asset recovery in the ongoing FTX Chapter 11 proceedings.
Read how SBF contemplated buying off Donald Trump:
Biographer Unpacks SBF’s Plot to Buy off Trump for $5B
Stay updated on how SBF’s trial will go down:
Here’s How SBF’s Trial Will Go Down