Sam Bankman-Fried has officially waived his right to fight extradition, paving the way for this return to the United States.
“I do wish to waive my rights to formal extradition proceedings,” Sam Bankman-Fried told judge Shaka Serville at a hearing earlier today. Bankman-Fried had arrived at the Nassau courthouse under heavy police guard after signing preliminary extradition documents the night before.
Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested by authorities in the Bahamas last week. He faces several criminal charges by the U..S Department of Justice.
He spent the duration of his detainment at Fox Hill, a correctional facility on the outskirts of Nassau. A 2021 U.S. State Department report described the facility as “harsh.”
Bankman-Fried Granted Extradition
Dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and socks, and brown leather shoes with laces removed, Bankman-Fried told the judge he was “doing well” despite the conditions of his confinement. Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyer said his client had eaten and was in good health but was “anxious to leave.”
Although Bankman-Fried had initially intended to fight extradition, plans changed with the anticipation of receiving bail in the United States. According to an affidavit, he also made the decision out of a “desire to make the relevant customers whole.” Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyer additionally requested the “rule of specialty” for their client. This is used to try a person only on the charges relating to extradition.
Serville said he was satisfied that Bankman-Fried had not been “forced, coerced or threatened” into making the decision, adding that all legal requirements for extradition had been met. “I therefore formally commit you to custody while you await your extradition,” he said. Serville has now handed off the case to the country’s minister of foreign affairs for approval.
Heading Back to Face the Music In the US
Meanwhile, U.S. federal authorities, including the FBI and the United States Marshals Service, have already arrived in Nassau in anticipation of returning with Bankman-Fried. Depending on the speed of the approval from the foreign minister, Sam Bankman-Fried could arrive in the U.S. the same day. Once there, Sam Bankman-Fried will likely be arraigned. At this time, his lawyers may present a case for him to be granted bail.
Under U.S. law, Sam Bankman-Fried must be brought before a court in Manhattan within two days of arriving. His charges will be read during this initial hearing. Federal prosecutors accuse Bankman-Fried of appropriating billions of dollars in FTX customer assets to cover losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Should Sam Bankman-Fried arrive in New York after court hours, he will likely be held overnight within the court complex. If denied bail, Sam Bankman-Fried could be incarcerated at a pre-trial facility, such as the notorious Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
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