Former FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing fraud charges over the collapse of a bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, leaves on hearing day in Manhattan federal court in New York City, U.S. January 3, 2023. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried on Saturday urged a US judge not to ban the accused cryptocurreeeeency FTX executive from communicating with his former partner as part of his bail, saying prosecutors “dirty” their placement process. in “worst light.”

Lawyers were responding to requests late Friday by federal prosecutors that Bankman-Fried not be allowed to speeeeak to most of the FTX or Alameda Research hedge fund employees without a lawyer present, or use encrypted messaging apps Signal or Slack and potentially auto-delete messages.

Bankman-Fried, 30, has been free of his $250 million bond since pleading not guilty to fraud charges in the multi-billion dollar loot from the now bankrupt FTX.

Prosecutors said their request was in response to Bankman-Fried’s recent attempts to contact potential witnessssses against him, the FTX affiliate’s general counsel, and was necessary to prevent witness tampering and other obstructions of justice.

But in a letter to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said prosecutors made bail conditionsexaggerated without disclosing that the two sides had discussed bail over the past week.

“Instead of waiting for a response from the defense, the government ignored the process, filing this letter at 6:00 p.m. on Friday eveeeeeening,” Bankman-Fried’s lawyers wrote. “The government seems to believe that a one-sided presentation – twisted to put our clients in the worst light – is the best way to get the result it wants.”

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