Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyers Seek to Have Accusers’ Attorneys Testify
(Bloomberg) -- Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers are seeking to call three attorneys who represent accusers in her sex-trafficking trial.
Maxwell’s defense is scheduled to begin Thursday in a lower Manhattan courtroom, after two weeks of sometimes graphic testimony from four women who have accused her of participating in Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. The witness list for the defense is under seal, although her lawyers are planning to call as many as 35 people to the stand, according to court filings.
In a filing late Tuesday, prosecutors revealed three of the names on the list -- Jack Scarola, Brad Edwards and Robert Glassman. All three are attorneys for accusers in the case, and the government objects to the defense’s request to have them testify. Maxwell’s lawyers have repeatedly questioned the accusers about their motives for coming forward.
“Rather than asking these attorneys about their conversations with their clients, which are privileged, the defendant seeks to elicit testimony about those attorneys’ conversations with the government,” according to the filing. The judge should reject the request and not “compel victims’ counsel to testify against their own clients.”
Maxwell’s lawyers said in a separate filing that they are seeking to ask the attorneys about “how and why Ms. Maxwell’s accusers came to cooperate with the prosecution,” and the questions they will ask “are relevant to motive and bias.”
Among the questions they posed is whether one of the accusers was “unresponsive and uncooperative” to prosecutors “until there was a prospect of a payout” from an Epstein victims fund. Another lawyer will be asked about applying on behalf of his client for a type of immigration visa that is available to victims of sex crimes. They are also seeking insight into settlement talks with another accuser’s lawyer and the victims fund.
The case is U.S. v. Maxwell, 20-cr-00330, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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