Elizabeth Holmes’s Ex-Partner Won’t Get Saved Seats at Trial
(Bloomberg) -- Lawyers representing Elizabeth Holmes’s former boyfriend will have to fight for seats at her criminal trial like everyone else.
The federal judge handling what may be the most closely watched trial in Silicon Valley history rejected a request by attorneys representing Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani for two reserved seats in the courtroom. Balwani served as president at Theranos Inc., the blood-testing company Holmes founded, and was romantically involved with her while they worked together. He faces the same criminal charges as Holmes but at a separate trial starting next year.
Holmes’s team has raised the possibility it will blame her alleged fraud on trauma she allegedly suffered from years of psychological abuse by Balwani. He has denied the allegations.
Read More: Elizabeth Holmes’s Lawyers Say She Suffered Decade of Abuse
Balwani’s attorneys asked for special accommodation to “maintain a level playing field” with prosecutors, who have front row seats because they’re trying the case. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, denied Balwani’s request Monday without explanation.
Balwani’s lawyer, Jeffrey Coopersmith, pointed out that the court has reserved seats for Holmes’ friends and family, government agents and the press. Providing the same for Balwani’s lawyers “ensures that the government will not have greater access to relevant evidence and thus an unfair advantage in preparing for Mr. Balwani’s trial.”
So far, Balwani’s defense doesn’t seem to be at a disadvantage. His lawyers have waited in the same early morning lines as members of the press and public and found seats at trial. Coopersmith declined to comment.
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