Bahamas Court Favors SBF’s Bid to Contest Post-Extradition Charges
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has received a temporary reprieve as a Bahamas court ruled in his favor to block the addition of new charges in his United States indictment. This ruling allows Bankman-Fried to make arguments in the country seeking to drop some existing charges against him. The decision is expected to cause a delay in the ongoing legal proceedings in the United States.
Bahamas Judge Grants Leave for Judicial Review
The Bahamas Supreme Court Judge Loren Klein has granted leave to Sam Bankman-Fried to commence proceedings for judicial review. Judge Klein stated that the government of the Caribbean nation cannot file additional charges until the legal process has concluded and recognized that Bankman-Fried’s concerns had a reasonable prospect of success. This ruling is a response to the Bahamas government’s attempt to proceed with new charges against the former FTX CEO.
Bankman-Fried successfully persuaded the court to temporarily block the Bahamas Attorney General from deciding on the consent for new charges. This decision provides a temporary respite for the cryptocurrency entrepreneur and prevents the immediate addition of charges to the existing indictment. The judge has instructed all parties involved to conduct the review process in an expedited manner, indicating a desire to resolve the matter efficiently.
Bankman-Fried’s Intent to Pursue Legal Rights
Following the court’s decision, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, announced that his client intends to file an application for judicial review as directed by the Bahamas Supreme Court. Bankman-Fried is determined to continue pursuing his legal rights in the country. This strategic move reflects his efforts to challenge the charges levied against him and potentially seek a reduction or dismissal of some existing charges.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan had previously expressed their willingness to dismiss five charges against Bankman-Fried if the Bahamas did not agree with them. These charges included foreign bribery, bank fraud, and conspiracy. These additional charges were added after Bankman-Fried’s extradition from the Bahamas. The court’s ruling presents a significant development as it provides Bankman-Fried with an opportunity to contest these charges and potentially negotiate a favorable resolution.