NEW YORK CITY – Federal prosecutors rested their case Monday towards accused drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who informed the trial choose that he wouldn’t take the stand in his protection.
“I’ve spoken to my attorneys and I will reserve,” Guzman informed U.S. District Choose Brian Cogan in Spanish when requested if he meant to testify. Cogan requested Guzman if he had been absolutely suggested of his proper to testify and if he was certain about waiving that proper. Guzman answered sure to each questions earlier than sitting down.
Prosecutors have referred to as 56 witnesses to testify towards Guzman for the reason that trial began in mid-November. In contrast, Guzman’s legal professionals have been anticipated to name simply two witnesses for the protection. Each are scheduled to testify Tuesday earlier than closing arguments Wednesday and Thursday. Choose Cogan stated the jury might start deliberations as quickly as Thursday afternoon.
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The trial obtained an surprising dose of Hollywood taste earlier within the day, because the actor taking part in Guzman within the hit Netflix collection “Narcos: Mexico” took a seat within the courtroom behind Guzman.
Mexican actor Alejandro Edda stated he got here to the federal courthouse in Brooklyn as a part of his analysis. Saying he had by no means seen Guzman, Edda stated it was “surreal” to get an up-close have a look at the person dealing with life in jail for operating the murderous Sinaloa Cartel.
Edda’s presence within the courtroom created a little bit of a stir, prompting a U.S. marshal to remind these current “no hand gestures, no thumbs up. This isn’t Comedy Central. No laughing.”
Talking after he left court docket, Edda stated he felt shaken after seeing Guzman for the primary time – notably when the accused Sinaloa boss smiled at him. “It is the man who everyone talks about doing all these items,” he continued. “This man’s the chief of a giant … cartel … and, having him that shut, it shook me. I am intimidated by it.”
Edda famous that as a Mexican effectively conscious of the Sinaloa’s popularity, he felt very unhappy for the crimes allegedly ordered by Guzman. And he appeared to have already made up his thoughts about Guzman’s destiny.
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“I believe he is responsible. There’s many, many horrendous issues that he did,” he informed reporters exterior the courtroom. “The unhappy half is I do know he is not the one one. I do know that not solely the Sinaloan guys are the dangerous guys, there are numerous dangerous guys round us.”
Edda didn’t converse to Guzman – who clearly knew who the actor was, and appeared to take pleasure in his presence – however he did have the time to greet Emma Coronel Aispuro, Chapo’s spouse, who has been a relentless presence on the trial. The 2 exchanged a kiss on the cheek as they greeted one another, chatted briefly, and rode an elevator collectively.
Bryan Llenas contributed to this report