Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers argue ‘compelling basis’ for new trial

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Lawyers representing predatory British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell have asked for no sentencing date to be set as the US court should “grant her a new trial”.

Setting out their arguments in a letter to Judge Alison Nathan, the 60-year-old’s defence counsel said there was a “compelling basis” to overturn Maxwell’s conviction for sex trafficking after a juror revealed they had a been a victim of sexual abuse.

Maxwell, who was labelled “dangerous” by the prosecution during her three-week trial in New York, was found guilty of enticing vulnerable teenagers to Jeffrey Epstein’s various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

Ghislaine Maxwell court case
Maxwell’s defence lawyers have said there is a ‘compelling basis’ to grant their client a new trial (Anthony Behar/PA)

The prosecution also said if all defence motions were denied, and a sentencing date could be set, they would dismiss the outstanding perjury counts against Maxwell.

The severed charges allege the convicted sex trafficker lied under oath by hiding her participation in Jeffrey Epstein’s offences during a separate civil case brought against her by the Duke of York’s accuser, Virginia Giuffre.

“If any of the defendant’s post-trial motions are granted, the government proposes that the parties be directed to promptly confer and propose a schedule for further proceedings.

“That schedule may depend on the manner in which the court resolves such motions.”

The prosecution also requested the preparation of a pre-sentence investigation report, but the defence argued anything Maxwell said in the report “could be used against her at her retrial”.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein (US department of Justice)

“The defence therefore objects to setting a schedule for sentencing until this motion is resolved.

“Furthermore, requiring Ms Maxwell to participate in the preparation of the pre-sentence investigation report, while she is awaiting a decision on her motion for a new trial, will adversely impact her Fifth Amendment rights (the right to silence so as not to incriminate oneself).

“Ms Maxwell will be forced into the position of not cooperating with the probation department’s investigation because any statement she makes to Probation, and any documents she provides, may be used against her at her retrial.”

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