Judge to El Chapo: No hugs with wife
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