UNITED STATES. Drug trafficker ‘El Chapo’ asks for his conviction to be overturned and for a new trial

Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo”, sentenced in 2019 in New York to life imprisonment for his role at the head of the Sinaloa cartel, asked the American justice system to have his conviction quashed and to hold a new trial.

Joaquin Guzman has requested “the quashing of the conviction, the holding of a new trial or the scheduling of a hearing of witnesses”, arguing that he was “deprived of the right to the assistance of a lawyer”, according to a document court order he signed on September 6 and made public by a court this week.

An “ineffective” lawyer

El Chapo accuses his lawyer at the time of having been “ineffective” in his legal assistance by not requesting a prior analysis of the documents provided by Mexico to support a US extradition request. Mexican authorities thus allowed him to be tried in Brooklyn and not in Texas or California as stipulated in the extradition request, according to Joaquin Guzman.

This omission prejudiced Mr. Guzman and prevented him from presenting an adequate case to challenge the conditions of extradition, according to the document, which alleges that El Chapo would have been deprived of a “fair trial”.

In 2015, a spectacular escape through a tunnel

Considered at his time as the most powerful drug trafficker in the world, Joaquin Guzman was convicted in July 2019 of extensive drug trafficking between Mexico and the United States, as well as of illegal use of a firearm. and money laundering.

He was sentenced to life, with a symbolic sentence of 30 additional years in prison for using automatic weapons. The trafficker had already appealed his conviction, but his request was denied and his sentence confirmed in January by the federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York.

El Chapo, 65, known for his spectacular escape from a Mexican prison through a tunnel in 2015, is being held in the maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado (western United States).

His wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, was sentenced at the end of November 2021 by a US federal judge to three years in prison after admitting her participation in the Sinaloa cartel trafficking. She was arrested in February 2021 at Washington airport.

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