|Ghislaine Maxwell will renew her calls to be released on bail in her criminal case and wants the related court hearings in private, away from reporters, victims and the public, federal prosecutors said - ©Mediapunch/REX|
Ghislaine Maxwell will renew her calls to be released on bail in her criminal case and wants the related court hearings in private, away from reporters, victims and the public, federal prosecutors said.
The suspected child sex trafficker and former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein is being held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, while she awaits trial.
Maxwell, 58, was originally denied bail in July by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, ruling that there was a substantial flight risk, citing her 'substantial international' ties and 'extraordinary financial resources'.
Maxwell’s lawyers that month had asked that she be freed on a $5 million bond co-signed by two of her sisters and backed up by more than $3.75 million in property in the UK.
In a Manhattan federal court filing on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said Maxwell is expected to file a 'renewed application for bail'.
The federal prosecutors said they anticipated Maxwell's lawyers would make the request for a bail hearing held 'in camera' or in private with prosecutors before Judge Nathan.
'The government sees no reason for an entire hearing to be conducted without the opportunity for the public or the victims in this case to observe,' wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey in a letter opposing a private meeting to the judge.
'Indeed, given that crime victims have a statutory right to be present and heard at any proceeding regarding the defendant’s "release".
'The Government would object to any proceeding addressing aspects of a renewed bail application that was conducted entirely in camera.'
Maxwell has been charged with six federal counts including enticement of minors, sex trafficking, and perjury. She was arrested in June and has been in Brooklyn detention center since July, ahead of her July 14, 2021, trial.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges that she procured three girls for Epstein to abuse in the mid-1990s.
Last week, it was revealed that Maxwell is being woken up every 15 minutes in her cell to make sure she has not killed herself.
He lawyers claim she is being treated worse than inmates convicted of terrorism or murder.
She has a flash light shone into her cell every 15 minutes to make sure she is still breathing, after Epstein died despite being on suicide watch.
Maxwell was placed in quarantine on November 18 after a guard working near her cell inside the Brooklyn detention center tested positive for coronavirus. She tested negative for Covid-19 on the same day, and showed no symptoms.
Maxwell's lawyers had originally argued that she should be granted bail in part due to concerns about the virus.
They have have argued pandemic protocols at the jail, as well as special measures to prevent her from killing herself like Epstein, have made it difficult for her to prepare a defense.
Her lawyers had proposed that Maxwell instead awaited her trial in the comfort of a New York 'luxury hotel'.
She is allowed to talk to her lawyers on the phone every day for up to three hours and continue to use a laptop provided by the government for 13 hours a day to review discovery, prosecutor Maurene Comey wrote in a letter to the judge last week.
Comey wrote that Maxwell had more privileges than other inmates, even in quarantine.
'As was the case three months ago, the defendant continues to have more time to review her discovery than any other inmate at the MDC, even while in quarantine,' Comey wrote.
'The defendant also has as much, if not more, time as any other MDC inmate to communicate with her attorneys, even while in quarantine.'
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