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FTX founder trial starts today, lawyers move to block witness testimony

Trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried starts today. Wednesday is jury selection. And the trial shall begin in earnest.

Trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried starts today. Wednesday is jury selection. And the trial shall begin in earnest.

FTX founder trial begins

According to the trial calendar, the jury selection for the case started today. SBF is accused of stealing and diverting massive sums of customers’ funds from his hedge fund and crypto exchange.

US Attorney Damian Williams has maintained that the FTX exchange was one of the biggest frauds in American history.

Bankman-Fried has acknowledged making catastrophic mistakes while running FTX in interviews and social media posts, but he has maintained that he had no malicious intent.

“I didn’t steal funds, and I certainly didn’t stash billions away,” he said in a post earlier this year on the online platform Substack.

The defense and the prosecution are still arguing over witnesses even though the trial is still going on. On Monday, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys sent a petition to the judge pleading for the exclusion of some witness testimony.

Read more: FTX sues SBF’s parents to recover millions in “misappropriated” funds

Lawyers seek to block testimony

SBF lawyers have sought to limit the case of the prosecution’s use of a Ukrainian witness in his criminal trial.

In a letter sent to Judge Lewis Kaplan, the judge overseeing SBF’s case, prosecutors are both seeking to use testimonies from FTX customers on how they believed their assets were being used, and their interpretations of representations made by SBF and his exchange.

The FTX founder’s lawyers counter-argued that the prosecution was seeking the motion prematurely and the testimonies focused more on opinions and the interpretation of customers of the exchange.

Judge Kaplan ruled in favour of the government’s motion to block a handful of expert witness testimonies. The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, which grants defendants the right to confront their accusers in court, has been a point of emphasis for Bankman-Fried’s legal team.

“The Second Circuit held that excluding defense expert testimony that would counter the government’s arguments as to what a reasonable investor would have found material would leave the defendant “only with the ‘victims’ of his conduct as sources of potential testimony on this issue, an odd limitation where the jury is to evaluate materiality in an objective manner,” lawyers wrote Monday.

In an effort to gain further clarification, the attorneys wrote the court another letter on Monday asking for the judge’s opinion on whether SBF would be permitted to discuss his philanthropic and charity activities and whether he might provide testimony regarding asset recovery in the ongoing FTX Chapter 11 proceedings.

SBF’s legal team investigated whether “prior good acts” could be used to support his innocence because the government seeks to demonstrate how he allegedly committed wire fraud and improperly handled client monies.

Disclaimer: CryptoPlug does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Do conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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