Judge orders anonymous jury at trial for drug lord El Chapo
Judge orders anonymous jury at trial for drug lord El Chapo
DEA via CNN Joaquin"El Chapo Guzman after being extradited to New York
08 February, 2018, 18:22
The federal jury in the trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will be anonymous and partially sequestered.
The jury also will be transported to and from the courthouse by U.S. Marshals and be sequestered from the public while at the courthouse.
Mexico's top drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán is escorted as he arrives at Long Island MacArthur airport in NY, U.S., January 19, 2017, after his extradition from Mexico.
Those credible reasons included Guzman's decades-long history of hiring "sicarios" or hitmen to carry out hundreds of murders, assaults and kidnappings, including on potential witnesses and those who spoke with law enforcement.
Defense attorney, Eduardo Balarezo, opposed the order, saying prospective jurors have nothing to fear.
The defense had opposed the move arguing that having an anonymous jury would undermine the defendant's presumption of innocence and give the impression that Guzman is unsafe.
"All he is asking for is a fair trial in front of an impartial jury", Balarezo said in a statement.
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In the past, Guzman used his connections to continue to run his drug empire from behind bars, prosecutors said.
Cogan also said that "dangerous individuals" who are not under Guzman's control but who have expressed a willingness to assist him have expanded his reach beyond Mexico.
Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges that his drug trafficking operation, the Sinaloa cartel, laundered billions of dollars and oversaw a ruthless campaign of murders and kidnappings.
In court papers, prosecutors cited media reports about a YouTube video made previous year - and since removed from the internet - by a group of federal prisoners in California in which they boasted in Spanish that they were "hitmen" at his service.
Guzman, the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, is one of the world's most notorious criminals, with his brutal exploits even dramatized in the Netflix drama El Chapo. "Here you have more than 3,500 soldiers".
A United States judge has ordered special protection for the expected to decide the fate of at the accused 's upcoming trial.
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