Jul 26, 2023

A judge is considering banning "parties and witnesses" in the FTX case from speaking to the media as Sam Bankman-Fried is expected in court Wednesday afternoon.

Video transcript

A judge is considering banning parties and witnesses in the FTX case from speaking to the media. Joining us now to discuss is Coindesk global policy and regulation. Managing editor Nick Day who is also the editor of Coin Desks state of crypto newsletter. Good morning, Nick. Good morning. Oh, right. Sam Bakeman freed is expected in court today. What is likely gonna happen uh when, when he gets there? Yeah. So this stems from uh a letter last week that prosecutors sent alleging that he had leaked, uh former Alameda research, Ceo Carolyn Ellison's private diaries uh in an effort to try and discredit her as a witness. Uh The judge has scheduled a hearing and among other things, he said that both parties should be prepared to discuss the continued adequacy of his bail conditions, potentially suggesting that, you know, if he's not happy with what he hears, he might, you know, seek changes on Sam Bake Winfred's current uh bond release. This is something out of uh TMZ who's sitting in there leaking, you know, for the kids, for the kids who don't know, uh what, what exactly what were in those diaries other than, you know, like, oh MG, I can't believe Sam looked at me today, you know, like what else was going on in those diaries? Yeah, I mean, there were details about uh Ellison's previous relationships with Bank and Fried. Uh other details just talk about kind of more her perspective on running the company about her concerns with, you know, the operations and what she was doing um and also her ability to do it. So, you know, Alison, of course, pleaded, uh seems to have pleaded guilty uh couple of months ago to do a charges and settled. Uh and part of that plea agreement seems to suggest that she's going to be, you know, a key witness in Beman Fried's own trial which kicks off in October. It doesn't sound much like, yeah, I was just gonna say it doesn't sound much like uh you know, like a, a dam, a damning her. It, it seems that it, if he were to leak it, I it kind of makes him look like a, a tool. Well, yeah, Lawrence, I'm, I'm happy you brought that up because Nick, can you tell us like, why this is so important to the trial? What does the leaking of these diary entries actually mean could it, could it taint potential witnesses in the future? What's the contentious point here? Well, not the witnesses so much as the jury, right? If you're looking for a jury that, you know, you want to see as neutral then, you know, potentially having something come out in the New York Times saying that by the way, one of the witnesses, uh, a was like, you know, romantically engaged with the defendant B was heavily involved in running this company. And then c, uh, you know, she had all these, uh, you know, things that she was thinking about and talking about and, uh, you know, maybe the jury's gonna think, ok, well, perhaps, you know, she was not really paying attention to the actual issues or, uh to what Bank himself was doing, maybe she's an unreliable witness because of, you know, XYZ. So there's a couple of different concerns that I think prosecutors will have. Of course, the defendants, defense team Bank Fried lawyers have also come out and said that by the way, you know, this whole thing is being tried in public anyway and they in particular, uh took umbridge at the fact that the current leadership of FTX has made a couple, uh let's say statements about how badly FTX was run under bank freed. So it's a concern that the defense has acknowledged, although clearly their actual concern and focuses on a slightly different aspect of it. And lastly, Sam Bagman Fried is set to face trial in October. There's eight criminal charges against him. Talk to us about how today's hearing is going to impact what happens in October. So the big thing is the concern about bail conditions and then the actual, uh, you know, topic, the proposed order, uh, on discussing details of the case in public or with the public or disseminating and other public communication media. Um, you know, we might see, uh, a little bit less information from, you know, news articles about what prosecutors and the defense team are thinking. On the other hand, you know, it seems pretty well said that we know what we're looking at the open questions. now are things like, you know, the witness lists, the, you know, actual timeline for everything, details like that, that will be shared. Uh, you know, the these are things that the prosecution and defense will have to agree to and share with the judge and the judge will sign off. So all of that will still be public, but we might just hear less about the kind of, you know, behind the scenes thinking, uh that we've seen or than we've seen so far.

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