The trial of accused Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman started this week in New York City.
A jury has been selected, and Guzman’s lawyers want the court to let him hug his wife before opening statements next week.
The court said no, citing ongoing concerns that the elusive cartel chief could be plotting something else.
Jury selection for the trial of accused Mexican cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is over, but the purported Sinaloa cartel leader will face the court alone when the trial gets underway next week.
In a November 6 letter, Guzman’s defense team asked Judge Brian Cogan to allow Guzman to give his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, “a brief momentary greeting to include perhaps an embrace” after entering the courtroom on November 13, before opening statements.
“It can be a brief embrace in open court with the courtroom railing between them,” the letter, written by one of Guzman’s lawyers, continued. “This entire process should not take more than a few seconds.”
The letter justifies the “humanitarian gesture” by citing the conditions Guzman has faced since he was extradited to the US from Mexico in January 2017, hours before President Donald Trump took office.
He has been held under tight security in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
He has been held in a windowless cell with the lights on at all times for 23 hours a day during the week and 24 hours a day during the weekend. He has had limited contact with outsiders and none with his wife, which has been “to prevent [Guzman] from committing, soliciting, or conspiring to commit additional criminal activity,” the defense’s letter states, quoting the prosecution.
Guzman’s legal team has made numerous complaints about his treatment.
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In March 2017, after seven weeks in US custody, lawyers said the conditions, which were “far more extreme” than those in Mexico, had already caused him to have hallucinations. Later that spring, his lawyers said the repetition of a “nature program about a rhinoceros” on a TV he had access to, and other limits on his confinement, were furthering his “sense of frustration and isolation.”
Amnesty International said the conditions appeared “unnecessarily harsh and to breach international standards for humane treatment.”
The court was sympathetic to the November …read more
Source:: Business Insider