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29 November
Sunday

World

Infamous Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" appeals life sentence

Guzman, who was the leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel for 25 years, is currently being held at a maximum-security prison in Colorado

Photo: AP

/NOVOSTIVL/ Former Mexican drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has appealed the life sentence he was given by a US court last year, following his conviction for decades of smuggling narcotics into the country.

Guzman’s prosecution was marred by prosecutorial and judicial overreach, his lawyer argues in the appeals paperwork filed in a New York court on Friday evening, which was seen by dpa.

Guzman, who was the leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel for 25 years, is currently being held at a maximum-security prison in Colorado.

His defence lawyer, Marc Fernich, argues, among other things, that the extraordinary security measures that surrounded Guzman prevented a fair trial.

For instance, Fernich cites the two-and-a-half years in solitary confinement before the guilty verdict in early 2019 as making it difficult for him to work with his defence team.

In addition, the lawyer for the 63-year-old Mexican accuses the US judiciary of having ignored media reports that said several members of the jury were reading news and social media posts about the trial as it was under way, something the judge forbade to prevent undue influence.

In February 2019, the jury found Guzman guilty on all 10 counts, including participation in a criminal organisation, production and international distribution of cocaine and heroin, money laundering, and use of firearms.

He was extradited to the US in early 2017 to face the charges. As part of the extradition agreement with Mexico, the US ruled out the death penalty.

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