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    JUSTICE PROCEEDS

    Judge Declines El Chapo’s Bid to Delay Trafficking Trial

    Handout/Reuters

    A judge declined Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman's bid to delay his trafficking trial, the New York Daily News reported on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan reportedly ruled that the trial will begin as scheduled on Monday with jury selection. El Chapo’s attorney, Eduardo Balarezo, claimed in court on Tuesday that the defense would need extra time to prepare after being given “23 binders full of 14,000 pages of prosecution evidence” in early October.

    Judge Cogan said opening statements would to begin “no sooner than Nov. 13,” which could give the defense some “extra prep days” if the jury was picked quickly. The judge also said he would be open to “not hearing any testimony on Fridays” which would give “lawyers extra days off to prepare.”

    “We wish (Judge Cogan) had given us more time,” Balarezo reportedly said, adding he also had “discovery documents exceeding 300,000” and another 116 potential witnesses for the trial. The 61-year-old alleged head of the Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel reportedly pleaded guilty to “17 counts of drug trafficking, murder conspiracy and money laundering.” Guzman previously escaped two Mexican prisons, but was extradited to the U.S. in early 2017.