FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) had a rough day in court on Monday, according to a number of reports that SBF’s local lawyer appeared to be at odds with his US legal team. In addition, court reports noted that SBF dozed off for an extended period of time and had to be awakened by an official.
SBF’s day in court, after nearly a week in Fox Hill prison, did not go smoothly.
According to several news reports Monday, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was transferred back to Fox Hill Prison after a “confusing turn of events” in court, according to the island’s local media, The Tribune. SBF’s local attorney, Jerone Roberts, “seemed to disagree with SBF’s U.S. legal team“, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The Tribune and other articles detail that SBF had mentioned to the judge that he had not yet seen his US indictment. Roberts reportedly did not know that his client SBF was supposed to be in court on Monday as well. “I didn’t ask him to be here this morning“, Roberts proclaimed to the court.
The Tribune, the New York Times, WSJ, and Reuters all detail that SBF lawyers have drawn up plans for the extradition of the FTX co-founder to the United States. The reports also state that Bankman-Fried spoke only twice to the judge, Magistrate Shaka Serville, during the entire hearing.
At one point, SBF reportedly closed his eyes and fell asleep during the hearing, only to be awakened by one of the court members. A “Reuters witness“told the publication that SBF was allowed to speak to his U.S. lawyers by phone.
Miscellaneous witnesses tell that Bankman-Fried was “visibly shaking” in court. “SBF is wearing a blue suit, white shirt, dress shoes, very disheveled“, said NBC reporter Ezra Kaplan, who wrote. “He was often seen with his head in his hands, knees shaking, holding a file. The courtroom was full. Filled with media and people from the crypto community.“
I cannot express how crazy the court hearing was this morning. @SBF_FTX was shaking and begging his lawyer to get him extradited.
But there was a mysterious event that happened over the weekend that prevented the extradition. Hmmm_™ wonder what that was?
– Ben Armstrong (@Bitboy_Crypto) December 19, 2022
The Bahamas’ deputy chief legal officer, Franklyn Williams, called the legal proceedings “a very serious matter”.incredible“, and a number of reports expressed that SBF needed to review his indictment before deciding whether or not he would be extradited. At the end of this confusing ordeal, SBF was driven to a black correctional van with his papers.
His legal team in the U.S. hopes to have everything settled by Tuesday. After SBF left court, his Bahamian lawyer, Jerone Roberts, addressed the hearing that as far as extradition is concerned, “counsel will prepare the necessary documents to trigger the court“.
Bahamian Magistrate Serville reportedly told the press that SBF’s appearance in court on Monday was essentially a “wasted day“, before sending him back to Fox Hill prison. After SBF read his indictment, a person familiar with the case told the WSJ that SBF “agreed to be extradited” and that “plans were being made by his legal team after the day’s court proceedings“.
Jerone Roberts spoke to the local Eyewitness News in Long Wharf, Bahamas, near the entrance to Arawak Cay, and told reporters that “his legal team is currently preparing the necessary legal documents for extradition and added that he hopes SBF will be brought to court this week“. While some reports claim that SBF will be back in court on Tuesday, others cannot confirm whether or not this is true.