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Saturday 15 December 2018

El Chapo’s lawyer admonished for bribery claims against Mexican presidents

Prosecutors had asked the judge to throw out the opening defence statement although the judge did not agree to the request.

Joaquin Guzman’s defence lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman speaks to reporters (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Joaquin Guzman’s defence lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman speaks to reporters (Mary Altaffer/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A US judge has admonished the lawyer for Mexican drug smuggler El Chapo after an opening statement that angered Mexican presidents by accusing them of taking bribes.

Prosecutors at the New York trial had asked the judge to throw out the defence’s opening statement at the trial of Joaquin Guzman.

The judge stopped short of that on Wednesday, but warned lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman to stick to the evidence.

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Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, waves to his wife (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

Mr Lichtman had called the US government’s motion “entirely without merit”.

Mr Lichtman said his client was not the real leader of a cartel that sent tons of cocaine into the US.

Mr Lichtman blamed another reputed trafficker who he said evaded capture with bribes.

Former Mexican president Felipe Calderon and a spokesman for current president Enrique Pena Nieto vehemently denied the claims.

Press Association

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