Judge to El Chapo: No hugs with wife

The Dominion Post - - World -

A fed­eral judge nixed Joaquin ‘‘El Chapo’’ Guz­man’s plea for some TLC from his Amer­i­can-born beauty queen wife yes­ter­day.

The jailed Mex­i­can drug king­pin asked that the court grant him per­mis­sion to em­brace his wife, Emma Coronel Ais­puro, be­fore open­ing state­ments in his traf­fick­ing trial kick off next week. US District Judge Brian Co­gan wrote yes­ter­day that ‘‘the court is sym­pa­thetic to the re­quest,’’ cit­ing Guz­man’s ‘‘ex­em­plary’’ con­duct and ‘‘grace un­der pres­sure’’ dur­ing the pro­ceed­ings so far, but ul­ti­mately said no.

‘‘Hav­ing con­ferred ex­ten­sively with the US Mar­shals Ser­vice about de­fen­dant’s re­quest, the court is con­strained to deny it,’’ Co­gan ruled. ‘‘The mar­shals have stressed that ac­ced­ing to the re­quest would be con­trary to all the se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures that have been put in place.’’

Guz­man’s at­tor­ney, Mariel Colon Miro, warned in a let­ter to Co­gan that her client might have a men­tal break­down if he can’t have any phys­i­cal con­tact with his spouse. Guz­man has been held in soli­tary con­fine­ment in New York for the last two years. ‘‘It can be a brief em­brace in open court with the court­room rail­ing be­tween them. This en­tire process should not take more than a few sec­onds. The only hu­man con­tact Mr Guz­man has had since his ex­tra­di­tion has been with the jail per­son­nel when putting and re­mov­ing his shack­les, and a quick handshake from his at­tor­neys when he goes to court.’’

Co­gan said that the de­nial is meant to pre­vent Guz­man from co­or­di­nat­ing an es­cape ‘‘or di­rect­ing any at­tack on in­di­vid­u­als who might be co-op­er­at­ing with the gov­ern­ment.’’ – TNS

Joaquin ‘‘El Chapo’’ Guz­man

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