Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

DA Willis Said She "May Ask" For August Trial At Upcoming Hearing; South Africa Struggles With Rampant Crime, Police Corruption; Sam Bankman- Fried Faces Sentencing For Defrauding FTX Investors; Expedition Bahamas; Georgia Election Subversion Case Resuming. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired March 28, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: It is 6 pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos; this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Happening this hour from a

Crypto King Sam Bankman-Fried is set to find out how much time he will spend in prison for one of the largest white collar crimes in history.

Authorities are moving from a recovery to a salvage operation after Tuesday's Baltimore bridge disaster. And the Georgia election subversion

case involving Donald Trump resumes next hour in Atlanta and Fani Willis will be back in court for the first time since the judge ruled she can

continue to prosecute the case. Plus, you will hear from Britain's King Charles who just released a heartfelt Easter message. It's his first since

his daughter in law, Princess Katherine began chemotherapy.

And welcome to the show. Let's check in to see how the New York market is set to open. It's around 30 minutes from now. We're looking at a positive

start all the way through. Now the DOW futures are pointing to a positive side why we're keeping a very close watch on that the big question is will

the DOW Jones hit that key milestone of 40,000?

Keeping in mind it is a shortened trading day today and of course, markets will be closed for Good Friday tomorrow but investors are going to be

looking out for that we'll be very closely watching liquidity levels as well that's going to be very telling in terms of where the numbers are set

to go.

But look, later this hour former crypto King Sam Backman-Fried is set to find out how much time he will spend in prison. The FTX Founder faces

sentencing in Manhattan Federal Court. He was convicted in November on fraud and conspiracy charges for his role in the collapse of the company he

founded. If the prosecution gets its way he could spend potentially most of the rest of his life in prison.

CNN's Kara Scannell is in New York and joins us now live to give us a sense of what we're expecting today. Look, Sam Bankman-Fried will be learning his

fate. He's at the center of this historic crypto fraud. They are asking the team is asking for just six years in prison versus what the federal

prosecutors are looking for up to 50 years in prison. Give me a sense of what we're expecting today.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's a big gap between the number of years that Sam Bankman-Fried could potentially face in prison. He's 32-

years-old. But as you said, he was the face of the crypto industry and the collapse of FTX really sent shockwaves through it, as well as the

prosecution of him that followed.

Prosecutors are asking for 40 to 50 years in prison because they say he committed one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history, and the

biggest since Bernie Madoff who went to prison for a Ponzi scheme. At the trial last year, they prove that Sam Bankman-Fried had stolen more than $10

billion from customers and investors in FTX as well as lenders to elevate a research that sister hedge fund.

They also say he spent $150 million in bribes to Chinese officials and put more than $100 million of illegal campaign donations into the U.S.

political system. You know, they really want to send a message with the sentencing not just to other crypto players or financial people, but also

to Sam Bankman-Fried himself.

Because they say that they are concerned that when he comes out, he could continue to try to commit fraud again. Now Sam Bankman-Fried's lawyers are

saying he's not Bernie Madoff, he's not Elizabeth Holmes, the Founder of Theranos. They've seen that he should get only as much as six and a half

years in prison.

Part of their argument is that some of the victims will be made whole through the bankruptcy recovery efforts. So saying that their loss is not

quite as large as the government is saying. I mean, the big thing today is that the judge -- you know will hear these arguments from both sides in


It's possible there will be at least one victim who will address the judge and tell him what the impact of this fraud has been on his or her life. And

then the big question will be does Sam Bankman-Fried himself speak to the judge? You know, he was convicted last year.

He is expected to appeal. But will he show any signs of contrition? Or what will he say to the judge? And how does the judge receive that? You know,

obviously a lot at stake. Sam Bankman-Fried has been in federal custody since August when the judge revoked his bail after he found that he was

involved in some witness tampering. So he has not walked the streets freely for months. The big question here is how many years will it be before he

does again Eleni?

GIOKOS: Yeah, Kara Scannell we are waiting for that hearing to get underway. We're keeping a very close watch on because the proceedings and

we'll be touching base with you very soon. Thank you so much, Kara. Well, we're learning much more about the deadly bridge collapse in Baltimore.

Authorities are moving from a recovery to a salvage operation after Tuesday's disaster.


The NTSB recovered six hours of voyage data from the container ship. It says the investigation could take up to two years. The bodies of two

construction workers were recovered on Wednesday; four others are still missing and presumed dead. Bad weather and dangerous conditions are

hampering search efforts.

Meantime, the Head of the NTSB said she saw some containers carrying hazardous materials in the water. And she adds some of the containers were

breached significantly on the ship. And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warns the bridge disaster and resulting closure of the port will

have major economic repercussions.

CNN's Maria Santana and Gabe Cohen joins us now from Baltimore. Maria has more on the victims and Gabe is following the latest on the crash

investigation and of course, the status of the vessel. But Maria, I want to start off with you. We know the teams have been working very treacherous

conditions. They've been able to recover two bodies, what more do we know about the victims? And how are their families responding?

MARIA SANTANA, CNN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, hi, Eleni. How are you? Well, this has been a very heartbreaking moments for these families and

speaking with them throughout much of this incident, especially you know, first it was the heart the shock of what had happened.

And then it was you know clinging to hope that a miracle would happen and then the realization that that was probably not going to be possible. So

two families may have found us a bit of closure now that two bodies have been recovered they have been identified as Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, a 26

year old from Guatemala, one of two Guatemalans who died in this incident and also Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35-year-old Mexican national, also

one of two Mexican nationals who died.

We don't have a lot of information about him because Mexican authorities have told us that these families have asked for privacy and they are trying

to respect those wishes. But Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, you know, we spoke to some of his family members. He didn't have any children. But his dream

why he moved to the United States was to help his family in Guatemala economically, especially his mother.

But we also know of the families that their victims have not been recovered. Miguel Luna is from El Salvador. He has three children and three

stepchildren. His family members told us he had been living in Baltimore for 19 years. We also spoke with a brother of Maynor Suazo Sandoval who

also Sandoval. He is from Honduras, 38-years-old.

He has two children here in the United States, a 19-year-old son, five year old daughter. He was the breadwinner for his family. And -- you know, just

a very lovable, fun joy as a person. And his brother told us, you know, this leaves these other four families in a lot of uncertainty as to when or

whether they will be able to recover the bodies of their loved ones. This is what he told us about why this is so important to them. Let's listen.


CARLOS SUAZO SANDOVAL, BROTHER OF MAYNOR SUAZO SANDOVAL: They have found cars, but they have not yet moved any cars because there is a lot of steel

framework and they must be careful because they are human beings, even if lifeless, we are family members need them to rescue the bodies at least to

see them and have them handed over to my family his entire family.

He was the breadwinner for his children right now. God is going to provide for us too. So we can get together as a family and see how we can help each

other because at this moment, his wife is left with his girl and everything.


SANTANA: Yeah, and one of the things that these families haven't had time to think about is what is going to happen now with not only family here in

the United States, but also families in their home countries, as we know a lot of immigrants -- you know come here so that they can send money back to

their families.

So a long road to recovery to you know healing for these families and -- you know the authorities here have said even federal authorities that they

are going to stand with these victims and help their families in any way that they can, Eleni..

GIOKOS: Maria, very heartbreaking. Thank you so much for that. We've got Gabe standing by as well in the NTSB gate has warned of hazardous cargo.

What are they doing to deal with the vessel that as we can see the images right now on air showing that the vessel is supporting pieces of the bridge

that collapsed onto it? I mean, we're talking about a huge logistical effort that will be required to sort this out.

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Eleni, and it looks like is going to take many days. That's why they've moved into this salvation -- salvage

operation to period that we talked about earlier. The reason is they basically said it's not safe at this point for divers to continue to go

into the water knowing that there is that much steel and concrete and debris down there.

And so now the focus is getting all of it out. There bringing in the Army Corps of Engineers who's going to be also bringing in a lot of large

equipment barges and cranes.


The plan is to cut up those pieces of the bridge and start pulling them out. But as you mentioned, one of the obstacles here is going to be some

hazardous material that's been discovered on the ship 56 containers of hazardous material flammables corrosives lithium ion batteries, more than

700 tons of it. Some of those containers have breached.

There has been some spillage in the river. The Coast Guard says it's not a public safety concern at this point, but it is keeping some crews from

getting onto the bow where the bridge actually fell. And so that is going to slow things down. We are expecting again for this to take several days.

But officials have said once that work is done once all that debris is cleared, divers are going to go back down to find those four remaining

missing construction workers. The Governor of Maryland said he spoke to one of the two survivors who told the harrowing story of the moments before the

bridge collapse. Take a listen. Here's what the Governor said.


WES MOORE, MARYLAND GOVERNOR: In fact, one of the survivors who I had the opportunity to speak with one of the things he mentioned to me was as he

was moving off of the bridge, and literally saw the bridge fall right after he moved off. It was because it was a first responder who was telling him

to move off the bridge.


COHEN: Federal investigators from the NTSB are also continuing their work today. They're going to be interviewing the two pilots who are on the ship,

as they have analyzed that black box that was on the ship some of the data from it giving them a much better timeline of the few minutes leading up to

this catastrophe when the ship experienced that total blackout when the pilot lost power lost the ability to steer the vessel alarms were going off

on the ship.

As this pilot was calling for tugboat support dropping an anchor trying to slow the vessel down and eventually sent out that mayday call Eleni that

reached police. Sadly, though, they just didn't have time to reach the construction crew that was on the bridge at that point.

What they're trying to figure out now we could take weeks Eleni is what went wrong. What caused the ship to go into that power outage that total

blackout? Questions have been raised about maybe contaminated fuel or maybe an electrical issue that even was happening when the ship was at the port

before it left.

The NTSB though was pushed back Eleni and said, look, that's speculation. This is going to take a couple of weeks they want the investigation to play


GIOKOS: Yeah, a lot of moving parts there. Gabe Cohen thank you so much for that analysis, as well as Maria Santana joining us today. Well, the Georgia

election subversion case involving Donald Trump resumes next hour in Atlanta today.

The judges hearing two defense motions one of them from Trump's attorneys to get the case thrown out the other from David Schafer, one of the fake

electors accused of trying to throw the state to Trump. District Attorney. Fani Willis will be back in court for the first time since a judge ruled

she can continue to prosecute the case. Nick Valencia is outside the courthouse in Atlanta. Nick, great to have you with us today look, this is

one of the most consequential cases for Donald Trump. What can we expect today?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today he's going to try to get the case thrown out again, this time on First Amendment grounds and what his

attorney is arguing and a recently filed motion is that when Trump spread conspiracy theories and lies after he lost the 2020 election, that it was

political speech covered by the First Amendment, and therefore this indictment never should have been brought forward according to Trump's


The case is you know this today's hearing is a pretrial motions hearing, but it's really much bigger deal because it's the first hearing since the

dramatic disqualification hearings for Fani Willis which lasted two months. And the big question is can her team get this case back on track, put the

drama in the rearview mirror and focus again, on the facts of this case?

Fani Willis is juggling a lot principally all the legal cases that Trump is facing and trying to somehow fit her trial date start in between all of

these other cases that Trump has. It's something that we asked her about recently, and she did say in her words, the train is coming as she's trying

to get the trial to start in August.


FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I'm also realistic that one of the defendant has multiple cases going on, and some of them

have trial dates that are ahead of ours and so I'm always going to be respectful of sister jurisdictions.

We asked for August trial date. We have not been granted that trial date. We may ask for that date again. But we're realistic we still have to

viewers and other motions that have not been responded to and so those motions will have to be resolved. And once those motions are resolved, we

would like to push to trial.


VALENCIA: So Fani Willis still trying to push this trial forward for an August start. Meanwhile today we're also going to hear arguments from the

attorney for Dave Schaefer.


He's the Former GOP Chair here in the State of Georgia and the point man and the fake electors scheme, but his attorney says they don't like that

characterization of fake electors. They believe it's prejudicial and they want those charges modified or the indictment thrown out. Again, this

pretrial motions hearing expected to start at 10 am.

And just a short time ago Eleni, we heard from the District Attorney's Office Fani Willis is not expected to be in court today, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right Nick, great to see you thank you so much for that update. Well, turning now to the Israel Hamas war. And Israeli official confirms

that meetings with the U.S. are being rescheduled to get Washington's take on how to target Hamas in Rafah.

That's Gaza is the southernmost city where more than a million Palestinians are sheltering with nowhere else to go. Despite international criticism and

warnings of an impending famine Israel's Prime Minister insists and incursion there must go ahead.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: They have killed the many senior leaders including number four in Hamas number three in Hamas. We'll

get number two number one that victory is within reach. It's a few weeks away.


GIOKOS: Well, in Southern Lebanon Hezbollah says an Amal Movement fighter and a paramedic were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday. The Amal

Movement is the main Shia ally of Hezbollah in Lebanon. A total of 16 people were killed in Israeli strikes on three locations Wednesday.

Hezbollah says it fired two Israeli towns and a command headquarters on Thursday morning in retaliation. In a rare legal development Island is set

to make a formal intervention in the genocide case taken by South Africa against Israel in the International Court of Justice. This follows strong

calls domestically from opposition politicians and members of the public to do so.

In a heavily critical statement Ireland's Foreign Minister Michael Martin said it has to stop. The view of the international community is clear

enough is enough. Coming up CNN rides along with a private security group in South Africa forced to do the job of the police.

We'll look at why the war on crime there is a losing battle. And he was found guilty of stealing billions from customers of his crypto exchange

FTX. Today, Sam Bankman-Fried faces a New York judge for sentencing as prosecutors push for decades in prison. We'll be right back.



GIOKOS: 30 years into its young democracy South Africa is struggling with a crime wave it can't seem to control violence --


GLEN: Charlie six, three. This was a vehicle that was triggered by the license plate recognition system. We need to be on top of the vehicle as

soon as we -- as fast as we possibly can.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): So Anton is chasing a hijacked vehicle. This happens all the time in South

Africa. They're in touch with private security groups throughout this eastern part of Johannesburg. And one thing you don't hear anything about

is the police.

GLEN: Direction north mead square.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Police can't cope underfunded and struggling with corruption. Dashcam footage shows the criminal gangs private security often

up against in South Africa more than 20,000 vehicles were hijacked last year. Murders are at a 20 year high. Cash and transit heists are now

commonplace. Armored vehicles targeted in broad daylight by heavily armed gangs this heist on a major Joburg highway in October.

MCKENZIE: Was it difficult to get a gun?


MCKENZIE (voice over): We met cash in transit criminal who claims he's gotten out of the game. We agreed to hide his identity. So he would talk


GLEN: People who are angry with the delivery of clay. They will never sleep with us. Those are the people we work with.

MCKENZIE (voice over): He says around a dozen gang members target the vehicles, often with insider intelligence. They have spotters, drivers and

shooters splitting the cash evenly.

MCKENZIE: Did you ever kill anyone?

GLEN: No, it's a bit. I think bed on budget. Some of them -- you go in you want to rope they do not surrender. They want to become heroes.

MCKENZIE (voice over): But father of four TT Ngwenya says he never wanted to be a hero. He just wanted to put food on the table.

TT NGWENYA, FORMER CASH-IN-TRANSIT GUARD: Yes I needed the money. You must take out that you're going to be killed because you will never wait for

your children.

MCKENZIE (voice over): He always knew they would be hit. And in May 2021, they were. The dashcam video shows the gang working quickly, efficiently

even. They made Ngwenya and the other guards lie in the grass when they blew off the roof. It crushed his legs.

NGWENYA: The big thing to me, I am no longer able to stand. I'm no longer walking as the way I was before I joined that job. And now always feel

pain, I'm sure to some pills. You see an --

MCKENZIE: It seems like the value of life has actually means nothing to a lot of people anymore.

NGWENYA: I think at the moment our crime is out of control. Our crime is really not in control. We're having a hard time fighting, fighting crime.

MCKENZIE (voice over): South Africa is losing the war against crime the promise of its democracy hijacked by corruption, desperation and greed.


MCKENZIE (on camera): You know that gang members said that it was the rich who are worried about crime. Well, that's not in fact true because all

walks of life here in South Africa are dealing with this crime wave from those living in informal settlements to the fanciest areas of Joburg that

are also being targeted in hijackings and criminal by criminal gangs.

They are good police say security experts. They are both in the junior and senior ranks, but they're underwhelmed by a lack of resources and also face

corrupt colleagues on a daily basis Eleni.





ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it has been nearly five months since the so called crypto King was found guilty of committing one of the largest white

collar crimes in history, defrauding his customers or billions of dollars. And he will be sentenced just a short time from now.

In fact, that sentencing hearing getting underway in Manhattan federal courtroom at this hour, prosecutors have been pushing for as much as 50

years in prison for Sam Bankman-Fried. His attorneys, however, call that quote, medieval a death in prison sentencing recommendation.

They're hoping for something far shorter in the range of six or six and a half years. Former State and Federal Prosecutor David Weinstein joining us

now with more on this story so as this hearing gets underway, there'll be a number of things that will be taken into account walk us through what will

not only be hearing in court today, but what will be considered in deciding this sentence?

DAVID WEINSTEIN, FORMER STATE & FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, the judge is going to be looking at the advisory sentencing guidelines, which is where

these enormous numbers are coming from the government's asking for so the first thing he'll have to do is you'll have to decide, is that calculation


But you know, quite frankly, the guideline range is upwards of 100 plus years based on the conduct based on the amount of money that was defrauded,

and after a verdict in his trial. And so he has to sort through those numbers first. So they'll spend a good deal of the portion of the beginning

of the hearing doing that and coming up with what these advisory guidelines are that set sort of the guardrails for what a reasonable sentence will be.

From there, the defense is going to focus on who Sam was? His upbringing, his background, his education, what he done his charitable work, what he

had hoped that this platform would turn out to be? And despite a jury finding him guilty, what he believed was happening here.

And they'll talk about, as you mentioned, the draconian function of these guidelines, and the fact that they're looking for a sentence in excess of

30 to 50 years, at least the government is, and so they'll try to get the judge to focus on his character and who he is and what took place here.

On the other side, the government's going to point out that a jury heard the facts, they found him guilty. And in fact, they heard from Bankman-

Fried himself. He testified. The jury didn't give much belief in their opinion, to what he had to say. And they'll bring out the stories of the

victims, in this case.

People who lost their life savings who believed in him who invested in him and who lost a great deal of money they'll also compare his conduct to the

actions of others who have been sentenced to far more time in jail than what the defense is seeking here.

People like Bernie Madoff, you'll he'll hear his name. You'll hear about other people who took far more money and more sense to at least the amount

of time that the government is looking for. And then last but not least, you're going to hear from the defense about the efforts of the bankruptcy

trustee and the people who were trying to recover the funds and what was there and how that the victims will be compensated for their loss.

The government's counter to that argument is that this case is not about what's recovered after the fact long after Sam Bankman-Fried committed his

actions, but rather what was taken from these victims at the time that this all occurred. And that's what's going to be going on. And then the judge

will have to decide what an appropriate sentence will be.

HILL: As we're looking at all this, you know, what are the things that you brought up was character? And oftentimes, it is the behavior pre-trial that

can really come into play here. That may not be something that actually works in Sam Bankman-Fried's favor in this case.

WEINSTEIN: No, it certainly doesn't. And again, so the government's going to focus on is his pretrial behavior, his pre indictment behavior. What he

and others were doing with this money that belonged to other people? What they told these other people they were going to do with the money?

And then ultimately what they did, which was to spend it on themselves, and on rather lavish lifestyles and on all the trappings of what people

perceive to be taking advantage of somebody else. What the defense is going to focus on is not necessarily what happened right up to an -- leading up

to the indictment in the collapse.


But rather, what he did on his way to getting to FTX. What he's done in his community, what he had hoped that FTX would be before in his opinion, it

spun out of control. And so they're going to try and cut a fine line between his actions and activities that are part and parcel to the offense

conduct, versus what he's done, what his charitable work was in his lawyer's opinion, in terms of helping the community and what he had hoped

he'd be able to do if FTX had been successful, and have a charitable arm to it.

HILL: We are expecting to hear and you touched on this from at least one victim today. Potentially, we could hear from others. When there is talk

about how a person was victimized in a case like this, take us back to some other moments like that. I can't help but think of Bernie Madoff, right,

and how people were defrauded?

WEINSTEIN: Well, it's certainly the person who comes to mind right away. And he's an individual who promised people a large return on their money.

And he took money from everyone from a retiree who had very little to give to people who had amassed a fortune and decided to turn that over to him.

You will also hear testimony -- you know regarding these individuals and who they are? The victims who certainly are going to be brought forward are

people who had a lot to lose and lost it all people who worked hard for their entire life.

Look, there were people who invested with him, who were people from all different varieties of lines of work, school teachers, other blue collars,

sort of so to speak, workers, people who had made money with their own investments, people who had worked hard and who at the stage in their life,

when they turn this money over to him.

We're hoping to use that money so that they could live comfortably and now they're left with nothing. And those are the stories that are being told

not only in this case, but are told in other cases where fraud has been committed on individuals and it's something the court considers it's not

the only thing the court considers. But it certainly considers the impact on the life of the victims.

HILL: Yeah, so important. Really appreciate you walking us through all of this, David, thank you. Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, the first two

was vice presidential nominee for a major party died on Wednesday at the age of 82. His family says the cause of death or complications related to a

recent fall.

For much of his political career Lieberman was a fairly mainstream Democrat elected is more of a conservative Democrat, when he went to the Senate in

the State of Connecticut, chosen by Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore to be his running mate in what would of course turned out to be quite a

controversial election in the year 2000.

Following the 9/11 terror attacks, Joe Lieberman, though, was often out of step with his party taking a more hardline stance on foreign policy and the

war in Iraq. You know, he's been known as being somewhat hawkish Al Gore, in response to the passing of his former vice president nominee. Al Gore

said he is forever grateful for Lieberman's tireless efforts to build a better future for America.

Former President George W. Bush in a statement saying quote, Joe was as fine and American as they come, and one of the most decent people I met

during my time in Washington. Joe Lieberman will be buried on Friday in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.

There is new evidence today, which shows the sheer brutality of Myanmar's military junta and some of its allies. Three years after seizing power in a

coup, they are now taking losses on the battlefield facing stiff resistance from a rebel group called the "People's Defense Forces" another ethnic

armed organization.

In a month long investigation, CNN has uncovered video of what happens to some of those rebel fighters when they are captured? I do want to warn you

it is graphic and it is disturbing. But it's also incredibly important here is CNN's Anna Coren.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Walking through the flat dry scrublands of the Valley in Central Myanmar a soldier films on his phone.

Hey brother raise your three fingers he jokes, mocking the salute symbolic of the country's resistance movement.

No more three fingers here is one of them and laughs. He moves on to another group of pro Junta militia resting in the shade. Revolution he

cries. It's bullshit they respond. Moments later the man filming asks a soldier wearing a military junta uniform. Are they PDF?

A reference to the opposition People's defense forces, yes, he replies. This brief exchange caught on camera is about to rebel fighters they had

just captured a few hours earlier. Before dawn on the seventh of November last year, rebel as part of the PDF stage an attack on the pro Hunter

malicious stronghold in the village of -- Maguey division (ph).


But instead, the rebels were ambushed coming under heavy fire. Platoon Commander Ninja says as they tried to retreat in open fields, several of

these fighters were injured, while others were cut off from the group, including a 21-year-old Potain (ph) and 20 year old Tatung (ph).

NINJA: The last time I saw them, they were hunkering down about 50 meters away from me.

COREN (voice over): A few hours later, Ninja's -- received a message from a villager, saying two of their rebel fighters had been caught alive. Video

obtained by CNN shows the two young men bound and bloodied, relentlessly taunted by the militia.

The revolution must lose PDFs, dogs replies Potain. How many dogs have we killed? Aren't you PDF dogs? Were dogs repeats Tatung. The video then shows

them being dragged on the ground, the arms and legs hogtied on chains the next clip, too graphic to show in full reveals the young men hanging in

chains from the branch of a large tree over a fire being burnt alive.

There is screams heard over cheers from the militia as the prisoners arrived in agony as flames see their flesh. An eyewitness to the execution

told us the militia had ordered one person from each house to watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I got there they hanged them on the tree and poured gasoline and diesel on their bodies. The rebels were moving and screaming

and said they apologized. But the militia replied apologize in your next life.

COREN (voice over): Cross referencing more than a dozen interviews with witnesses' villages, resistance fighters, family members and experts with

analysis of the video and pictures from the day using open source techniques. CNN has found evidence that the military and its allied militia

were responsible for the killings.

The junta denies the claim stating the video was fabricated. However, they do admit an attack took place that day, and that its troops were stationed

in the village. CNN spoke to both fathers who confirmed their sons had been killed. They said they encourage their boys to join the revolution and

fight but to die like this will haunt them forever.

MYINT ZAW, FATHER OF PHOE TAY: I got a chance to watch the video, but I could not finish it. I stopped because I knew it was going to break my


COREN (voice over): The brutality of this execution however, is not a one off case. Since the military juntas staged a coup in 2021 the level of

depravity among its soldiers and aligned militia has increased.

In response to the mass losses and affections, it's suffering on the battlefield. The junta's recent announcement of compulsory conscription a

clear sign it's facing enormous pressure. As fighting engulf two thirds of the country experts believe the military is using fear and intimidation to

try and control a defiant population.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been able to verify over 400 burnt bodies since the coup, and we've verified over a dozen instances of individual

beheadings. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

COREN (voice over): But the burnings, beheadings and indiscriminate artillery and airstrikes are doing anything but stepping out the

resistance. Rebel fighter Yolay (ph) who fought alongside Potain and Tatung that fateful morning says what happened to his friends has only

strengthened their resolve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We weren't given to fear. We will continue this revolution until we win. Only then will it be worth it for those who

sacrifice their lives.




HILL: Throughout this week "Call to Earth" is turning the spotlight on the Bahamas and an organization working to advance ocean research and

conservation. Today we're joined Dr. Austin Gallagher on an expedition working with sharks and sea turtles to learn more about their relationship

with seagrass meadows.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Following an epic day, getting up close and personal with sharks, the team from beneath the waves is primed to get

back out in the field. Today, they're setting out to the Exumas, a chain of 365 largely uninhabited islands,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- little bit closer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Here they hope to tag some shocks an essential part of their mission in helping protect the animal and their


DR. AUSTIN GALLAGHER, FOUNDER & CEO, BENEATH THE WAVES: In order to get the sharks close to the boat to get the data we need, on their movements on

their habitat use what their diet is? We actually need to catch the sharks. So we need to put up these apparatus we've designed. They're called drum

lines. And actually really good for shark tagging, because it doesn't harm them and they can still be you know, swimming and breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): The workup includes taking measurements, blood and tissue samples, and ID tagging the sharks. There are very strict

rules on the capture sample collection and tagging of animals set forth by numerous Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees. In addition to

following those procedures, "Beneath the Waves" has also obtained all of the required permits for this expedition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a black nose shark. It is a beautiful shark, the total length is 116. Now we're going to take a little sample here for

genetics. You're going to be able to trace the DNA, the heritage of this animal just from this sample.

So now we're putting in an identification spaghetti tag, right into the dorsal fin -- just like that, now we're going to take a muscle biopsy, you

can see we move really fast. OK, I'll take a blood sample that I'm not going to let it go 123 very quick workup nice little black nose shark we

want something bigger. So let's go next one tracking. That's a big nurse,

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): The larger sharks are kept off the side of the boat.

JEFFREY PANKEY, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, BENEATH THE WAVES: Right now I'm putting in all the information. So fin clubs, muscle clubs, blood and all

the different pieces that we're getting. We're jotting down the PIT tags and the spaghetti tags so that when we look up the data, they'll be able to

retract where we got the information from.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): On this trip, the team is also hoping to expand their research to a different kind of tropical sea dweller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really want to embrace a partnership with sea turtles similarly to what we did with tiger sharks. So, on this expedition we're

trying to apply tags to sea turtles, to see if they can serve as sentinels for seagrass health. And on this expedition, we're going to start some

network for the first time. Oh, my God is a big one too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): As is often the case when attempting to work with wildlife, they don't always cooperate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, it's a little bit of an exercise in patients. This is completely new ground for us. So of course you can't expect to hit

a home run first time every time just not reality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALAE (voice over): Part of the team Dude eventually tracked down some turrets. Following established protocols they were able to attach

satellite trackers on their shells and ID tags on their flippers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that will then help us with target specificity for our seagrass work for the coring. Now let's go to the places that the

turtles are deeming are most important. How does that compare to the tiger sharks? So it's really about examining these relationships as holistically

as possible. And that turtle link between the tiger shark and the seagrass meadow is really where we want to go in the future.


HILL: And you can catch the special half hour program "Call to Earth: Expedition Bahamas" airing this Saturday and Sunday, here on CNN.


HILL: Britain's' King Charles is focusing on the importance of friendship in a pre-recorded message being released for Easter. It's his first public

address since Princess Catherine's revelation that she has cancer and has been going undergoing preventative chemotherapy. In the message the King

doesn't refer to his or the Princesses' health instead, though, focuses on care and those who care for others.


KING CHARLES, UNITED KINGDOM: In this country, we are blessed by all the different services that exist for our welfare. But over and above these

organizations and their selfless staff, we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of



HILL: Thanks so much for joining us this hour. Be sure to stay with CNN as we begin our special coverage of a hearing in Georgia where attorneys for

Donald Trump will ask the judge to dismiss the charges in this election subversion case against the former president and a much more we'll be right

back after this break.



GIOKOS: Welcome to the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos, in Abu Dhabi.

HILL: And I'm Erica Hill in New York. We are watching two big stories in American courtrooms happening this hour. In Atlanta attorneys for Donald

Trump will ask the judge to dismiss the Georgia elections aversion case against the former president on grounds that the charges violate his first

amendment right to free speech.

GIOKOS: Sam Bankman-Fried is being sentenced in New York for his role in the collapse of Cryptocurrency exchange FTX. It's one of the largest white

collar crimes in history. Bankman Fried potentially faces decades in prison. And we'll have more details as we get them.

HILL: As we say on that one. We are going to move to Atlanta there is CNN's Zachary Cohen joining us now from Washington with more on what we'll be

looking for Renato Mariotti also with us, Former Federal Prosecutor and Missy Marries, who's a Defense Attorney.

So Zach, first bring us up to speed here. What is going to be happening in that courtroom? This is a motion that was actually filed before there was

all the drama with Fani Willis?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY & JUSTICE REPORTER: That's absolutely right. And this -- the fact that this hearing is even happening does speak

to the fact that this case continues to move forward despite the two month detour we took, you know, as prosecutors or as defense attorneys were

trying to disqualify Fanni Willis in this case.

But now we're going to get into some more pretrial motions and things that are unrelated to the disqualification effort, which we're still waiting for

an appeals court to weigh in on whether or not it's going to review that decision. But in the meantime, the case continues.

And these motions today include one filed by Trump's lead attorney Steve Sado, who was arguing meaning that basically all of the actions and the

alleged crimes in the indictment are actions covered by the First Amendment covered by political speech protections in the First Amendment.