Drug lord El Chapo's trial delayed to allow defense to review evidence

The New York trial of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been put off until November. U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan said jury selection would begin Monday November 5 (New York Timesinstead of September 5.

Guzmán’s lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, said he needed more time to review “voluminous” evidence prosecutors handed over on July 3. Judge Cogan had denied a request by Balarezo to bar prosecutors from using evidence that they had not produced by June 26 (Reuters).

In previous days Balarezo had requested President Donald Trump to release his infamous client, who he described as a “respected Mexican farmer”. Balarezo was tweeting a reply to Trump’s appeal to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to release U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson from prison in the Turkish city of Izmir. Balarezo said his tweet was sarcastic.

Guzmán, 61, has been in solitary confinement in Lower Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center since his extradition from Mexico in January 2017. He is facing drug trafficking and conspiracy charges.

He became head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, and the country’s top drug kingpin, in 2003 after the arrest of rival Osiel Cárdenas Guillén of the Gulf Cartel, and was considered “the most powerful drug trafficker in the world” by the United States Department of the Treasury.

FILE PHOTO: Recaptured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted by soldiers at the hangar belonging to the office of the Attorney General in Mexico City, Mexico January 8, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

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