Brooklyn judge denies El Chapo’s request to dismiss case
A Brooklyn federal court judge denied a motion to dismiss charges against Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman after his lawyers argued that the U.S. government violated international law.
El Chapo’s lawyers claimed that the U.S. government charged him with different crimes than the ones for which he was extradited from Mexico last January for. U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan denied the request and claimed that Guzman had no standing to raise the violation of international law without objection from Mexico.
“It is well-settled law in the Second Circuit law that absent protest or objection by the offended sovereign, [a defendant] has no standing to raise the violation of international law to challenge his indictment,” Cogan wrote in the order.
“Here, there is no protest or objection by Mexico, nor is there an express provision in the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico. Therefore, defendant’s motion to dismiss the indictment based on an alleged rule of specialty violation is denied,” the order concluded.
Guzman’s attorney Michael Schneider issued a statement maintaining that Guzman’s rights were violated.
“We still believe Mr. Guzman’s rights under the treaty were violated, and given that other Circuit Courts give the defendant the right to object to violations of extradition treaties, hope that the Supreme Court will decide this issue favorably to Mr. Guzman in the future.”
Guzman’s trial is set for April. However attorneys expressed disbelief that they would be ready in time when the trial date was set last May. Last month, Cogan told Guzman’s lawyers that there is no guarantee that U.S. prosecutors won’t later seize their fees if they could prove that the money came from drug profits.
Guzman has pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges. He is accused of laundering billions, murder and kidnappings as a member of the Sinaloa cartel. He is being held in a federal prison in Manhattan due to fears that he could break out of Brooklyn’s federal detention center.
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