NEW YORK (Reuters) – Accused Mexican drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s repeated escapes from the legislation show that he “is aware of he’s responsible,” a U.S. prosecutor instructed jurors in closing arguments at his trial on Wednesday, urging them to not let him escape once more.
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Andrea Goldbarg exhibits a can of jalapenos to the jury in the course of the trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, on this courtroom sketch, in Brooklyn federal court docket in New York Metropolis, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Andrea Goldbarg’s description of Guzman’s historical past of dramatic jail escapes capped off a day-long summation in federal court docket in Brooklyn by which she additionally attacked the protection argument that Guzman was a scapegoat.
Standing in entrance of a desk piled with trial proof together with AK-47 rifles and bricks of cocaine, Goldbarg mentioned Guzman ran from the legislation as a result of he wished to keep away from sitting earlier than a jury.
“Don’t let him escape accountability,” she urged the jurors.
Guzman, 61, has twice escaped from high-security Mexican prisons, as soon as hidden in a laundry cart and as soon as via a virtually mile-long tunnel dug into his cell. Whereas on the run, he evaded repeated seize makes an attempt, as soon as via a tunnel hidden below a tub in one in all his secure homes.
He was captured for the final time in January 2016 and extradited to america a yr later. He might face life in jail if convicted of the 10 felony counts he faces.
One in every of Guzman’s legal professionals, Jeffrey Lichtman, claimed in his opening assertion that the cartel’s actual chief is Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who stays at massive.
Goldbarg dismissed that argument on Wednesday, telling the jury that the prosecution needed to show solely that Guzman was a frontrunner, not a very powerful or just one.
The trial spanned 10 weeks of testimony from greater than 50 witnesses, together with former Guzman associates who’re cooperating with the U.S. authorities after placing plea offers.
Guzman’s legal professionals have sought to undermine the cooperators’ credibility in cross-examinations, which Goldbarg addressed head on.
“These witnesses had been criminals,” she mentioned. “The federal government just isn’t asking you to love them.”
Nonetheless, she mentioned, their testimony matched intercepted telephone calls, textual content messages and letters from Guzman.
“You understand these cooperating witnesses are telling the reality since you heard the identical factor from the defendant’s personal mouth,” she mentioned.
Goldbarg spent a lot her closing argument reviewing proof linking Guzman to particular person drug shipments. She additionally summed up testimony that Guzman plotted to kill his enemies.
Guzman referred to as just one witness in his protection on Tuesday. Lichtman is anticipated to ship his closing argument on Thursday.
Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Modifying by Anthony Lin and Grant McCool