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For Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Non Minor Victims Barred But Arg 10 Unsealed After Inner City Press Challenge

By Matthew Russell Lee Patreon Song Video Song II
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 1 – Ghislaine Maxwell, charged with sex trafficking and other charges, faces a November 29, 2021 trial.
  On October 29, she and the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York filed a flurry of motions in limine, heavily redacted; the Government argued that trial exhibits are not public and will be withheld.

 Inner City Press on April 2 wrote to the Court regarding access the arraignment on April 23. Inner City Press live tweeted it here and below. Nov 1 podcast here.

On November 1, Judge Alison J. Nathan held a length hearing on the motions in limine. Inner City Press live tweeted the 11 am to 1 pm session here (podcast here)

Judge Nathan: I've received the motions in limine. There are redactions I'll discuss today. [Inner City Press has opposed including US redacting an entire argument, Number 10, here] Gov filed 11 motions, and defense 13.

 Judge Nathan: The defendant's 12th motion in limine involves terminology: victims and minor victims. Motion's denied. Government can use the term "victim" and "minor." As Judge Furman explained, excluding the term victim is impractical [citing US v. Dupigny]

 Judge Nathan: The gov't asks that eight victims be referred to by pseudonyms in open court. I grant the request. It will protect the victims from media harassment and their dignity and privacy. See US v. Ranier, and US v. Kelly in the EDNY

Judge Nathan: Given the inflammatory nature of the conduct alleged here, it might cause harassment and deter other victims from coming forward... On voir dire, I think the list method makes sense.

 Judge Nathan: That leaves the issues of sealing unredacted exhibits. The government will need to manage this.

Judge Nathan: The US seeks to preclude evidence of its motives in investigating Ms. Maxwell, and material about the Florida investigation. The case law is that the government is not required to use any particular method. Improper motive arguments are for the court

 Judge Nathan: The Court will preclude evidence of the thoroughness of the investigation. The 2d Circuit's decision in Watson indicate that sometime evidence of thoroughness does go to guilt.

 [While Judge Nathan is reading her rulings on motions in limine, we note in small  SDNY Courtroom 518, where UN briber Ng Lap Seng was processed, #GhislaineMaxwell appears in prison blues, a white under shirt with sleeves, & a white mask, 2 Marshals behind her

Judge Alison: If the defense believes the US has a legally improper motive for prosecuting Ms Maxwell, a motion should be filed with the court. For purposes of the jury, the US is not on trial. Evidence of motive would be highly prejudicial.

 Judge Alison: The Court will exclude evidence about the Non Prosecution Agreement. Epstein agreed to pay for a lawyer for an alleged victim. There was a settlement of a civil suit. The defense can cross examination about bias.

Judge Alison: The defense has not explained any bias that relates to the Non Prosecution Agreement, which does not provide protection in the SDNY. I don't see any theory of bias that would be relevant with respect to the NPA.

 Judge Alison: The Non Prosecution Agreement has a complex background. It's not clear to me it could never be admitted. But based on what's before me, No. Nor are the US' charging decisions relevant. They didn't indict her along with Epstein...

Judge Alison NATHAN: I will allow, on cross, the issue of witnesses who did not initially implicate Ms. Maxwell. This is relevant and admissible. And witnesses' motives to implicate Ms. Maxwell after Mr. Epstein's death. The jury must understand the context

Judge Nathan: I will permit the defense to cross examine police, to impeach by suggesting bias. It would not be outweighed by [Rule] 403 prejudice. [Pause.] Any questions? AUSA: Not from the government. Defense: Not at this time.

 Judge Nathan: The US seeks to exclude evidence about consent. Isn't it related to the 412 motion?

AUSA: The government agrees... Defense: If a law enforcement officer says they interview another alleged victim and they didn't mention our client, that's not hearsay

 Judge Nathan: I'm not sure I can resolve that in the abstract. It sound like neither side intends to open on that. AUSA: True. It is the US' position that it is hearsay, if offered for the truth [of the matter asserted]

Judge Nathan: The Government has asked that its entire Argument should be sealed [Inner City Press opposed that]. Judge Nathan: I disagree. I think the theory of prejudice runs counter to the whole premise of pre-trial motions. I don't see a basis to seal this

 AUSA Moe: We don't oppose unseal at the conclusion of the trial. [What?] Judge Nathan: I don't see a basis for sealing or redaction. I'm not going to grant that.

Judge Nathan: Gov't 11 seeks to exclude evidence that the defendant was deemed a prevailing party after a settlement. I grant the motion. Let me ask the US, if you have emails of defendant setting up dates with people who are not minors, are you seeking to admit?

 AUSA Moe: Yes. Judge Nathan: This is about minors. So these emails are not direct evidence.. What about documents that post-date the charged conspiracy, like the address book?

AUSA Moe: The document belonged to the defendant. It had contact info for minor victims.

 Defense: I don't believe that the witness we are speaking about, who didn't start working for Mr. Epstein until after the charged conspiracy, would be able to authenticate the documents, which are suspect, with a lot of notations on them. It's not relevant.

Judge Nathan: So US will not mention in its opening any message pads that post-date the charged conspiracy? AUSA Moe: Yes, Your Honor.

Judge Nathan: Let's take a 10 minute comfort break.

On October 29, after the flurry of redacted motions, Inner City Press filed formal requests with SDNY District Judge Alison J. Nathan, now on DocumentCloud here:

Re: US v. Maxwell, 20-cr-330 (AJN), timely opposition to blanket requests to seal portions of motions in limine, trial exhibits, public access

Dear Judge Nathan:    On behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal capacity, I have been covering the above-captioned case. This concerns in the first instance the flurry of motions in limine filed earlier this evening, replete with redactions justified by a conclusory reference to Lugosch v. Pyramid Co. of Onondaga, 435 F.3d 110 (2d Cir. 2006). 

 The Government's Justifications for redaction (Docket No. 399, docketed at 10:06 pm on Friday Oct 29) cites Lugosch then says "The Government also seeks sealing of trial exhibits, which are not public." Inner City Press immediately opposes this.  

 As one example within this motions of limine, the Government has redacted the entirety of its Argument X, even the title and the page number. And as to trial exhibits, see for example Judge Jed S. Rakoff's order in US v. Weigand, 20-cr-188 (JSR), here.

  There, Judge Rakoff ordered the US Attorney's Office to make trial exhibit available to the public at large. While this was done, belatedly, in US v. Parnas, it was refused in the current US v. Cole. It cannot be refused in this case.    Also, Inner City Press understands that the listen-only call-in telephone lines available so far in the case, there may be an attempt to discontinue them. The Court should take judicial notice of continuing COVID-19 issues, including people's understandable concerns about congregating even in so-called overflow rooms. Be aware that the District for the District of Columbia still allows public phone access to all criminal proceedings, even those held in-person. That should happen here. The loss of First Amendment freedoms, even for a short period of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury. Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373 (1976).     

    For further example, in Docket No. 387, all exhibits are withheld and the expected testimony of already anonymized Minor Victim-3 is redacted.  In Docket No. 382, Exhibits A through D, F, H and I are all withheld in full, and large portions of even the table of contests are redacted. How is the public to access the basis for withholding, when even the titles / subjects are withheld?

Inner City Press will cover the trial, and all the comes before and after; #CourtCaseCast and song I and song II:

  Maxwell wanted to keep prospective juror questioning - voir dire - and selection even more sealed from the public and Press.

On October 18 the US Attorney's Office opposed the request, saying the the voir dire questions should be asked by Judge Nathan, and that there should only be sidebars on "sensitive questions such as those that relate to sexual abuse and media exposure." Full letter on Patreon here.

 RCFP rightly submitted opposition, and Inner City Press and others in SDNY joined the opposition. And in a conference on October 21 on that as scheduling issues, Judge Nathan denied the request to seal. Inner City Press live tweeted it here (podcast here)

On October 22 the draft jury questionnaire was unsealed and Inner City Press has immediately published it on its DocumentCloud here, including "Have you or a family member ever supported, lobbied, petitioned, protested, or  worked in any other manner for or against any laws, regulations, or organizations relating to sex trafficking, sex crimes against minors, sex abuse or sexual harassment?" Photo here.

   After the death of Jeffrey Epstein in the MCC prison, on July 2 Acting US Attorney for the SDNY Audrey Strauss announced and unsealed in indictment of Maxwell on charges including sex trafficking and perjury.

   Inner City Press went to her press conference at the US Attorney's Office and asked, Doesn't charging Maxwell with perjury undercut any ability to use testimony from her against other, bigger wrong-doers? Periscope here at 23:07.

  Strauss replied that it is not impossible to use a perjurer's testimony. But how often does it work?

  At 3:30 pm on July 2 Maxwell appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampsire, before Magistriate Judge Andrea K. Johnstone. Inner City Press live tweeted it here.
(Also live tweeted bail denial of July 14, here.)

   In the July 3 media coverage of Maxwell, media all of the world used a video and stills from it of Maxwell speaking in front of a blue curtain, like here.

 What they did not mention is something Inner City Press has been asking the UN about, as under UNSG Antonio Guterres with his own sexual exploitation issues (exclusive video and audio) it got roughed up and banned from the UN: Ghislaine Maxwell had a ghoulish United Nations press conference, under the banner of the "Terramar Project," here.

 On July 5, after some crowd-sourcing, Inner City Press reported on another Ghislaine Maxwell use of the United Nations, facilitated by Italy's Permanent Representative to the UN, UN official Nikhil Seth and Amir Dossal, who also let into the UN and in one case took money from convicted UN briber Ng Lap Seng, and Patrick Ho of CEFC China Energy, also linked to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

  At the Ghislaine Maxwell UN event, the UN Deputy Secretary General was directly involved.

List of (some of) the participants on Patreon here.

  Inner City Press has published a phone of Maxwell in the UN with Dossal, here. But the connection runs deeper: Dossal with "25 years of UN involvement" was on Terrarmar's board of directors, one of only five directors, only three not related to Maxwell by blood and name.

The directors: Ghislaine Maxwell, Christine Malina-Maxwell, Steven Haft, Christine Dennison and... Amir Dossal. Inner City Press is publishing this full 990 on Patreon here.

  Dossal has operated through the UN Office of Partnership, with Antonio Guterres and his deputy Amina J. Mohammed, here.

And the links to the world of UN bribery, including Antonio Guterres through the Gulbenkian Foundation, runs deeper. More to follow.

Antonio Guterres claims he has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, but covers it up and even participate in it. He should be forced to resign - and/or have immunity waived.

  Terramar has been dissolved, even though Maxwell's former fundraiser / director of development Brian Yurasits still lists the URL on his (protected) Twitter profile, also here.

  But now Inner City Press has begun to inquire into Ghislaine Maxwell's other United Nations connections, starting with this photograph of another day's (or at least another outfit's) presentation in the UN, here. While co-conspirator Antonio Guterres has had Inner City Press banned from any entry into the UN for two years and a day, this appears to be in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) chamber. We'll have more on this, and on Epstein and the UN. Watch this site.

  The case is US v. Maxwell, 20-cr-330 (Nathan).


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