Day 15 of the Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) trial started with the prosecution persevering with its cross-examination of the defendant and concluded with the protection resting its case and making ready for closing arguments.
The day’s proceedings revolved round scrutinizing SBF’s relationship with the Bahamian authorities, dealing with buyer funds, and transparency points. The protection performed a re-direct examination to make clear the previous billionaire’s stance on among the factors raised by the prosecution.
The prosecution additionally mentioned it now not intends to deliver rebuttal witnesses to the stand, which suggests the trial will doubtless conclude sooner than anticipated.
The prosecution began the cross with questions on SBF’s relationship with the Bahamian authorities, particularly Prime Minister Philip Davis.
SBF acknowledged that he had cultivated relations with some members of the federal government. Nonetheless, when requested about discussions associated to paying off the Bahamian nationwide debt, SBF claimed to not keep in mind.
The prosecution continued by questioning SBF about his involvement in serving to the PM’s son safe a job, to which SBF responded that he had talked with him however didn’t recall the small print.
AUSA Sassoon then requested whether or not SBF had ever boasted that Ryan Salame was primarily a member of the Bahamian authorities. SBF once more claimed he didn’t keep in mind.
The prosecution launched proof within the type of an exhibit, known as “Mission Chinchilla Chatter,” which included a message the place SBF acknowledged Ryan Salame’s title. SBF admitted to writing the message.
AUSA Sassoon pressed additional, asking whether or not SBF had given the Bahamas Prime Minister floor-side seats on the Miami Warmth Area. SBF acknowledged that he didn’t recall such an occasion. Nonetheless, the prosecution offered a message the place SBF talked about the PM being in FTX’s court-side seats along with his spouse.
The road of questioning then shifted to SBF’s interactions with outstanding figures, together with Invoice Clinton and Tony Blair. SBF confirmed that he had invited them to an occasion, mentioning his introduction to Invoice Clinton by means of Michael Kives.
The prosecution performed a video that includes SBF alongside Invoice Clinton, Tony Blair, Katy Perry, and Orlando Bloom to additional cement its level.
Sassoon questioned whether or not SBF allowed the Bahamas Prime Minister to withdraw funds. SBF clarified that it was one other member of the federal government who sought withdrawals.
The prosecution offered an e mail allegedly authorizing Bahamian clients to withdraw and be made entire, which SBF confirmed. Nonetheless, SBF defined that this authorization was for a brief interval.
Concerning monetary issues, Sassoon inquired whether or not banks had been reluctant to transact with a crypto alternate. SBF expressed uncertainty concerning the that means of “transact” on this context. The prosecution additionally questioned him about his actions after discovering out concerning the $8 billion shortfall.
SBF mentioned he had discovered concerning the bug that precipitated the discrepancy however did not inquire about it.
The prosecution then targeted on a monetary matter associated to North Dimension, asking if SBF was conscious of deposits being directed there. SBF admitted to turning into conscious of it sooner or later however famous that it didn’t point out Alameda Analysis.
The prosecution additionally requested SBF if he had disclosed that Alameda was spending out of buyer deposits. The previous billionaire claimed that he believed he had not revealed it and expressed remorse at not doing so.
The questioning concluded with AUSA Sassoon asking concerning the people on each the buying and selling and settlement groups. SBF mentioned he didn’t recall particular particulars about specific staff’ roles.
Protection makes an attempt to make clear SBF’s stance
Following the extraordinary cross-examination, SBF’s protection staff took the chance to query his shopper through the re-direct examination. It allowed SBF to offer context and nuance to his responses and reinforce sure features of his testimony.
The protection primarily addressed issues relating to SBF’s involvement within the Robin Hood litigation. SBF defined that his legal professional was assigned to deal with the return of shares to chapter, and his intention was to not assert management over these shares.
This clarification emphasised that he was following authorized procedures relating to the Robin Hood shares.
The protection additionally delved into SBF’s familiarity with the AWS database. SBF defined that he had familiarized himself with the database, indicating a basic understanding of its operations. This perception was doubtless offered to make clear SBF’s degree of involvement within the technical features of the FTX platform.
The re-direct examination allowed SBF to deal with the challenges related to managing buyer accounts and the complexity of the cryptocurrency alternate enterprise. SBF doubtless aimed to convey that operating such a platform concerned intricate and multifaceted duties.
The prosecution and protection took a sidebar for cost consideration on the finish of the proceedings. The sidebar revolved round debates concerning the language used within the indictment, with SBF’s lawyer objecting to fees that omitted the misappropriation concept.
The protection emphasised the necessity for specificity within the indictment. Nonetheless, Decide Kaplan overruled this objection, highlighting the significance of readability within the fees.
The prosecution raised issues about language within the indictment associated to marketing campaign finance fees. The prosecution requested that the time period “alleged” be stricken when referring to straw donations. The protection didn’t object to this adjustment.
The prosecution additionally sought to incorporate a jury instruction on the idea of aware avoidance, significantly in mild of SBF’s declare that he overheard details about sure monetary issues however didn’t take motion. The protection opposed this instruction, nevertheless it was in the end included within the cost.
One step nearer to the decision
With the cross-examination and re-direct examination full, the trial of SBF strikes nearer to its conclusion. The following part will contain closing arguments, throughout which each the prosecution and the protection will current their closing arguments to the jury.
The prosecution and the protection estimated that their closing statements would final roughly two to a few hours every. Nonetheless, the potential of the trial extending into Thursday prompted concerns for Juror 3, who has a flight to attend on the identical day.
Whereas SBF’s lawyer proposed seating an alternate juror to accommodate Juror 3’s journey plans, the prosecution was not ready to consent to that concept. Because of this, the trial might break on Thursday, relying on the progress of closing arguments.
The closing arguments will present each side with the chance to summarize their instances and persuade the jury earlier than deliberations start.
The prosecution additionally requested to current a rebuttal after the protection’s closing arguments. The protection didn’t object to the proposal, indicating a willingness to accommodate it.
Because the trial nears its conclusion, the destiny of Sam Bankman-Fried will quickly be within the palms of the jury, who will decide the decision primarily based on the proof and arguments offered all through the trial.