“El Chapo” is heading to court

Guzmán has been in solitary confinement since being extradited to the United States from Mexico in January 2017

“El Chapo” is heading to court
The notorious drug lord - Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/AP
English 30/10/2018 14:50 Reuters New York Brendan Pierson Actualizada 14:53
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On Tuesday, a U.S. judge turned down a last-ditch effort by Mexican drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, to delay his trial, scheduled to begin next Monday, with jury selection in a Brooklyn federal court.

Last week, in a motion, lawyers for Guzmán said that they needed more time to review over 14,000 pages documents, largely related to key witnesses expected to testify against their client, that prosecutors turned over on Oct. 5.

However, on Tuesday, a U.S. District Judge, Brian Cogan, said that the volume of documents was in line with what they should have expected, noting that prosecutors had said, in July, that it could be 25,000 pages and that complex cases like Guzman’s were challenging for both sides.

“Nobody is going to be as ready to try this case as they would like to be,” he said.

In what he called a small concession to the defense, Cogan ruled that opening statements in the trial would begin no earlier than November 13, which could allow some extra time to prepare.

Cogan also raised concerns about the prosecutors’ planned case at the hearing. He said he was concerned that the prosecutors had indicated that they were prepared to present evidence that Guzmán was involved in over 30 murder conspiracies, even though the charges against him are for drug trafficking.

“This is a drug case,” he said. “I’m not in any way going to let them try a murder conspiracy case that happens to involve drugs.”

He said that while some evidence of murder conspiracies connected to alleged drug trafficking would be allowed, it would be limited.

Guzmán, 61, has been in solitary confinement since being extradited to the United States from Mexico in January 2017. He was known as the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel.
 

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