Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

El Chapo: Jury ends day without verdict

El Chapo: Jury ends day without verdict

Jurors heard extensive testimony about deadly wars between Guzman and rival drug traffickers during the trial.

Guzman, 61, was extradited to the US a year ago to face multiple charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, after escaping a Mexican maximum security prison then being recaptured.

Guzman, 61, is notorious for escaping from prison twice in Mexico.

One of the 10 criminal counts Guzman faces is that he used weapons in furtherance of his drug crimes.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg told the jury that Guzman had proved his own guilt by plotting an escape from the USA prison in which he had been held since 2017. A federal judge in Brooklyn first gave hours-long instructions to jurors, and reminded them of the oath they took to proceed "without fear or favor".

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Jurors said they wanted to know if a "drug war was considered part of a drug trafficking crime" as they were weighing count 9, which pertains to use of firearms. He questioned both behind closed doors before allowing them to remain on the jury.

"Joaquin denies the allegations, which lack any corroboration and were deemed too prejudicial and unreliable to be admitted at trial", Guzman's lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, said in an emailed statement.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker paid a visit to the courtroom on Monday, with the jury not present, to thank the government's trial team.

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, center, is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a hanger in Mexico City, after he was captured overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. DEA agent Victor Vazquez told jurors he would only work with the Mexican marines when trying to capture Guzman and other leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, because that wing of the armed forced were viewed as less susceptible to corruption.

Yet with deliberations in the high-profile drug trafficking case underway, having starting Monday, and a verdict expected by the end of the week, the jurors are more likely to face a new threat - not from sicarios or paparazzi, as many might have feared, but from post-traumatic stress disorder. His wife, Emma Coronel, showed up to court after lunch. Balarezo then added that "it is unfortunate that the material was publicly released just prior to the jury beginning deliberations".

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