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Sam Bankman-Fried needs to pay professional witnesses as much as $1,200 an hour. Prosecutors try to dam them

The trial of disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is shortly approaching, with proceedings set to start in early October. As his protection legal professionals and the prosecutors quarrel over the whole lot from which proof will be thought of to Bankman-Fried’s web entry, the most recent battle line has emerged in a sequence of court docket filings from Monday night time: professional witnesses for the protection.

Due to the complexity of the case, which incorporates quite a lot of allegations, from worldwide company governance malfeasance to marketing campaign finance donations, Bankman-Fried is in search of to have a sequence of eight specialists testify on his behalf. They vary from an English barrister specializing in industrial regulation to a director at an digital discovery consulting agency.

Though the previous billionaire beforehand mentioned he has solely $100,000 in his checking account, the worth tag for the professional witnesses—in line with their very own declarations—probably will likely be tens of hundreds of {dollars}: The specialists are charging wherever from $400 to $1,200 an hour to work on the case, though they’ve acknowledged they don’t have any monetary curiosity within the final result.

In a separate lawsuit, the chapter property for FTX alleges that Bankman-Fried is utilizing FTX buyer funds—together with a $10 million present to his father—to pay for his legal protection payments.

Division of Justice prosecutors are in search of to dam the professional witnesses’ testimony. In a separate submitting, the prosecutors mentioned the court docket ought to “train its gatekeeping authority” to bar them from the trial, arguing that they’d supply authorized conclusions that “invade the purview of the Court docket and the jury” and “serve no different objective than to offer an professional patina to inadmissible rumour testimony.”

Within the occasion of the English barrister, for instance, prosecutors argue that the interpretation of the professional—Lawrence Akka—relies on specific English case regulation, which might not be dependable for the jury. Within the 45-page submitting, they critique every of Bankman-Fried’s proposed witnesses.

With the trial simply over a month away, the principle space of competition is over the content material of every facet’s arguments. Each authorized events have filed motions in limine, or pre-trial arguments about which varieties of proof ought to be permissible. The protection has lengthy complained that prosecutors are slowly sharing the hundreds of thousands of pages of paperwork they plan to incorporate. In a letter filed on Monday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Christian Everdell, argued that the federal government knowledgeable the protection on Aug. 25 that it will be producing 3.7 million pages of discovery, along with 4 million pages obtained the day past. The protection seeks to exclude any proof from these productions.

The decide’s resolution to revoke Bankman-Fried’s bail in mid-August complicates the matter. With the defendant now within the Metropolitan Detention Heart in New York, reasonably than staying together with his mother and father in Palo Alto, his legal professionals argue that he’s not in a position to adequately put together for the trial. Within the letter filed on Monday, Everdell wrote that Bankman-Fried has no strategy to overview discovery supplies on the detention middle and has but to obtain a tough drive of supplies that his legal professionals despatched per week in the past. They’re pushing for a “short-term launch” forward of the trial that will permit Bankman-Fried to fulfill together with his authorized crew 5 days per week.

A video convention to debate the issues is ready for Wednesday afternoon.

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