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Mexican druglord Chapo Guzman asks judge to let him appear in person for court hearings

January 31, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mexican druglord Chapo Guzman asks judge to let him appear in person for court hearings

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The infamous kingpin Joaquin Guzman also known as El Chapo who was extradited to the U.S. and pulled off past escapes from maximum-security Mexican prisons, wants out from jail for an upcoming court appearance — and for every court date that will be held in the future for his high-profile case.

Guzman is set to appear in court this Friday in a federal indictment that includes drug trafficking and money laundering charges, along with his involvement in 12 murder conspiracies.

After his previous two prison breaks in Mexico, Guzman is in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. The penitentiary has previously held criminals such as Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the ringleader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

As JammedUp News previously reported, Brooklyn federal court Judge Brian Cogan said that he anticipated the first hearing to be “brief and non-substantive,” so he was “inclined to have defendant present by video only to minimize disruption from physical transportation.”

‘El Chapo’s lockup in Manhattan is allegedly worse than Guantanamo, Guzman’s attorneys argued in a Monday filing. They asked for their client’s physical presence on Friday and whenever the defense and prosecution are scheduled to meet in court.

Federal agents questions Guzman after his arrival in New York

Guzman, who is being held in solitary confinement, has a right to understand how his case would unfold and see the judge handling his case, Michael Schneider and Michelle Gelernt of the Federal Defenders of New York wrote, the New York Daily News reported.

This is especially necessary, given “the unusual nature of the extradition process,” they added.

While in Mexico, Guzman had been fighting against the legality of his extradition requests.

‘El Chapo’s extradition falls on the 16th anniversary of his first escape when he was put on a U.S. bound airplane, Schneider and Gelernt said his attorney in Mexico was waiting to meet with him and was not aware of his client’s sudden exit.

“Guzman’s presence is necessary to ensure his faith in the fundamental fairness of the American judicial process,” they continued.

Cogan gave prosecutors a Wednesday deadline to respond to the defense objections.

The judge also requested that both sides submit a list of topics they plan to discuss at the hearing.

Prosecutors are pushing for a $14 billion forfeiture from ‘Chapo.’

In court documents filed last week, they expected that Guzman would hire his own attorney. However, if he stuck with appointed lawyers, the government asked Cogan to investigate whether Guzman is financially eligible for an appointed attorney.

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