Judge Lewis Kaplan slapped down Bankman-Fried's ask for delayed detention pending an appeal. Since the FTX founder's arrest in December, he's been out on a $250 million bail package, which required him to stay at his parents' home in Palo Alto, California.
Bankman-Fried's court appearance on Friday was just the latest in a slew of pre-trial hearings related to the former billionaire's dealings with the press. The Justice Department has characterized Bankman-Fried as demonstrating a "pattern of witness tampering and evading his bail conditions."
Kaplan had previously given stern warnings to Bankman-Fried on holding conversations with the media.
However, counsel for The New York Times and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press apparently filed letters objecting to Bankman-Fried's detention, claiming that he it violated free speech. His defense attorneys also cited free speech as a major point on his ability to speak with the press. The defense noted that Bankman-Fried has not violated any terms of his bail agreement by speaking with journalists, per the report.
In the motion to hold Bankman-Fried in jail, the government said that he had sent over 100 emails to the media and had made over 1,000 phone calls to members of the press. The defendant was also said to have leaked private diary entries of his ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, to the New York Times. The report noted that this was the final straw in the judge deciding to send Bankman-Fried to jail.
Ellison is expected to be a major witness for the prosecution during the trial.
"Face with a series of conditio meant to limit the defendant's use of the internet and the phone, the defendant pivoted to in-person machinations," the prosecution said. Bankman-Fried's revised bail conditions include restricted internet access and a ban from smartphone use.
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