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US Judge Says 'Chapo' Guzman Jury Will Remain Anonymous

Image: US Judge Says 'Chapo' Guzman Jury Will Remain Anonymous

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 11:00 AM

The jury in the trial in New York of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will remain anonymous for their safety, a US judge has ruled.

Federal Judge Brian Cogan, who is handling the trial set to begin in September, granted the US attorney's office's request for anonymity on Monday.

Guzman, 60, is accused of running the Sinaloa crime syndicate, one of the world's biggest drug empires. He has twice escaped prison in Mexico and has been held in solitary confinement in New York since being extradited to the United States a year ago.

The US district attorney for the eastern district of New York, based in Brooklyn, has presented "strong and credible reasons to believe that the jury needs protection," Cogan wrote.

The indictment alleges that Guzman "employed 'sicarios' or hit men who carried out hundreds of acts of violence, including murders, assaults and kidnappings," he said.

Based on the indictment, "it seems likely that the trial evidence will depict a pattern by the defendant and his associates such as would cause a juror to reasonably fear for his own safety."

Cogan said there appeared to be be some "dangerous individuals, apparently not under (Guzman's) control, who have expressed a desire to assist him."

Prosecutors cited a group of prisoners in California who, just after Guzman was extradited to the United States in January 2017, posted a video vowing to support the defendant.

Cogan dismissed defense arguments that juror anonymity would undermine Guzman's presumption of innocence.

Guzman is facing 17 charges related to drug trafficking and, if convicted, he would likely to spend the rest of his life in a maximum security US prison.

© AFP 2018

   
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The jury in the trial in New York of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will remain anonymous for their safety, a US judge has ruled.Federal Judge Brian Cogan, who is handling the trial set to begin in September, granted the US attorney's office's request...
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2018-00-06
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 11:00 AM
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