The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently recommended the exclusion of all expert witnesses presented by cryptocurrency tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried for his upcoming trial. The DOJ claims these witnesses have provided insufficient and potentially misleading expert testimonies.
The department’s concern revolves around many of these testimonies either not adequately detailing the experts’ primary opinions or lacking a substantial basis for those opinions, a requirement according to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 16.
Moreover, the DOJ argues that some of the presented opinions might be inappropriate for expert testimony due to either unsound methodology or sheer irrelevance, which could potentially bias the jury.
The situation becomes more intricate as several esteemed figures from the legal realm, including Lawrence Akka, Thomas Bishop, Brian Kim, and others, are among the challenged experts. They were set to discuss topics ranging from the terms of service of FTX and Alameda Research to the finer details of blockchain technology.
The DOJ is particularly critical of the inclusion of Joseph Pimbley’s expertise on FTX’s code, believing it to be redundant. They are confident that their witnesses, such as ex-CTO Nishad Singh, can provide the necessary insights.
Bankman-Fried’s legal representation is aggressively pushing for his temporary release as the trial nears. The defense emphasizes the need for better trial preparations, especially given they have recently been handed four million pages of evidence, and thus, request additional preparation time.
There’s also been mention by the DOJ of potentially holding a Daubert hearing, a method used to determine the validity of expert testimonies in court. As both parties gear up for the trial, the evolving legal tussle promises a series of strategic moves and counteractions, hinting at a fierce courtroom showdown.