By Robert Willmann
One letter from the Assistant U.S. Attorneys and two from lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell which were filed Wednesday, 5 January 2022, have started post-trial jousting, with Maxwell now wanting a new trial because a juror has spoken publicly to the press. A jury found Maxwell guilty of sex crimes on five of six charges in federal court in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York City. Prosecutors advised the judge that a juror had given an interview or interviews that appeared in at least three press outlets. They told the defense lawyers about it Tuesday night. The letter also requested that the court have a hearing on the issue and advise the juror that he could ask for a court-appointed lawyer to represent him in the matter. The defendant’s letters asked for a new trial outright.
The judge issued an order in response and did “offer court-appointed counsel to the juror in issue. Subject to the juror’s right to decline court-appointed counsel, the Court will appoint the on-duty CJA [Criminal Justice Act] counsel to represent the juror. If counsel for the juror wishes to be heard on the issue of the appropriateness of an inquiry, briefing by the juror’s counsel may be filed by January 26, 2022”.
The court order also set out a schedule for Maxwell to file a motion for new trial on the issue about the juror, and for a response and a reply to the response. The order is unclear as to whether all of Maxwell’s arguments for a new trial are to be included in the 19 January motion, or whether more grounds for a new trial can be made in an additional document to be filed by 4 February.
Here are the three letters from the lawyers for the government and defense–
The court order offering the juror an appointed lawyer and setting out a schedule for filing post-trial documents can be seen here–
Here are the news articles referred to in the letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but the Reuters article does not now display as cited–