In sweltering Bahamas courtroom, Bankman-Fried fights incarceration

NASSAU, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Streets, a flamboyant courtroom and multiple delays marked Sam Bankman-Fried’s first public appearance since the collapse of his crypto company.

A Bahamas court hearing, held over the course of six hours, saw Bankman-Fried, dressed in a suit rather than his typical T-shirt outfit, seeking bail to dispute his extradition to the US Denied and faced possible extradition. United States of america.

It was a stunning fall from grace for the crypto boss, once estimated by Forbes to be worth $26.5 billion.

Bankman-Fried, when asked if he wanted to waive his right to an extradition hearing, said, “I’m not waiving.”

It was a rare comment in the hearing that was largely taken up with lawyers discussing the process. In another comment, Bankman-Fried described the night of her arrest as “busy”.

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There was high anticipation ahead of the appearance of Bankman-Fried, who has given several media interviews since the collapse of his firm but has not been widely seen in public.

The day began with a crowd of photographers and reporters entering the court and taking shots away from the main entrance of Bankman-Fried.

Bahamas Chief Magistrate Joanne Ferguson-Pratt contributed to the mocking tone by quipping “I wasn’t born yesterday” at defense counsel’s interpretation of the law, which often left the courtroom laughing.

Laughter ensued as Ferguson-Pratt repeatedly forgot the defendant’s last name.

“Samuel,” he said before trailing off, once the billionaire crypto magnate reminded him of his name: “Bankman-Fried.”

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People in the courtroom turned on fans to keep themselves cool in the tropical heat as the sun shone through the windows.

The hearing was adjourned twice, once to consult about the court’s jurisdiction to grant bail, and again in the afternoon.

It also included an extensive discussion of Bankman-Fried’s medication, which her attorney said was for conditions including depression, insomnia, and attention deficit disorder.

At the start of the proceedings, Bankman-Fried asked to be replaced with an Emsam patch, a medical bandage applied to the skin that is used to treat adult depression. He asked to step out of the courtroom for a while to take medicine.

Bankman-Fried admitted that she did not take her medications with her when she was arrested, which she attributed to having had a “hectic night”.

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His parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, at times appeared frustrated by the arguments made by the prosecution, which described him as a flight risk.

Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney pointed out that Bankman-Fried had spent several weeks in the Bahamas without attempting to leave the country after his business collapsed.

At the end of the hearing, his head down, he embraced his parents. A van was waiting outside the court to take him away.

Reporting by Jared Higgs in Nassau and Brian Ellsworth in Miami; Editing by Megan Davis, Nolene Walder and Sam Holmes

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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