With the long-awaited trial beginning today, the lawyers of FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried are attempting to block a Ukrainian witness’s testimony. Specifically, Bankman-Fried’s defense seeks to invoke a Sixth Amendment right against the testifying witness.
Bankman-Fried has argued that the testimony would “serve only to elicit the jury’s sympathy and outrage.” Subsequently, a letter was sent Monday saying that the remote testimony from a Ukrainian FTX customer should not be allowed.
The Department of Justice requested permission for the witness’s remote testimony on Saturday. They cited “unique circumstances” that make international travel impossible. Yet Bankman-Fried’s defense is seemingly trying to block the testimony altogether.
Bankman-Fried Attempting to Block Witness Ahead of Trial
The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried is finally upon us, as the former CEO will be set to defend himself against seven charges of fraud. The proceedings will begin today and should continue for up to six weeks. Now, Bankman-Fried is already seeking to block a witness set to testify against him.
Specifically, Bankman-Fried and his defense have requested to block a Ukrainian witness’s testimony. Indeed, the defense team has stated that such testimony would “serve only to elicit the jury’s sympathy and outrage. The DOJ had requested the witness’s testimony this past weekend.
The witness in question is a male who is located in Ukraine. Moreover, the prosecutors stated that he “lost a substantial portion of his life savings that he had entrusted to FTX when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022,” according to the letter.
However, the DOJ has stated its belief in the testimony’s ability to display “the vast reach of FTX.” Subsequently, it points to the popularity that the crypto exchange maintained and then exploited. The trial is set to begin today, with jury selection to kick off the proceedings.