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Judge postpones ‘El Chapo’ trial for 2 months to November

July 17, 2018 Associated Press
In this  2017 file photo provided by U.S. law enforcement, authorities escort Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, center, from a plane in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. A judge has postponed the New York trial of Guzman until November 2018. U.S. law enforcement via AP, File

A judge on Monday postponed the New York trial of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman until November.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn said jury selection would begin Nov. 5.

The judge delayed the trial for two months after defense lawyers said late production of potential evidence by prosecutors left them inadequate time to prepare for trial.

The lawyers said prosecutors recently turned over 117,000 sound files and 3,500 pages of witness interviews, with another 10,000 pages yet to be delivered.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges his cartel laundered billions of dollars and oversaw a ruthless campaign of murders and kidnappings. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

His lawyer, A. Eduardo Balarezo, said in a release that Guzman is “highly disappointed” the trial was not delayed five months.

“Given the immense amount of information dumped upon the defense by the government at the last minute, Mr. Guzman thought a five-month continuance was appropriate,” Balarezo said.

“He believes that the prosecution is purposely playing games in an effort to deny him a fair trial and trusts that an impartial jury will see through the smoke and mirrors at trial,” the lawyer added.

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