Judge Declines to Hand Over Video Evidence of Dispute Between Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyers and Jailers
Less than a week after Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorney claimed her client got a mysterious”black eye” in prison, a federal judge failed to ensure that the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) to flip over movies of an alleged incident between attorney-client communications to the accused gender trafficker’s defense attorneys.
Maxwell’s counselor Bobbi Sternheim maintained her customer’s guards snatched her legal papers on April 24.
“The courtroom has guaranteed and will continue to help ensure that Ms. Maxwell has the chance to meet meaningfully and confidentially with her attorneys in light of relevant conditions and consistent with the remedy of other arrested inmates in BOP custody,” U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan wrote in a two-page judgment, abbreviating the Bureau of Prisons. “The isolated episode that happened on April 24, 2021, and the serious allegations led by MDC legal counsel and defense counsel at no way undermine the court’s decision that Ms. Maxwell and her attorneys are totally able to get ready for trial. The court is confident that all parties understand the importance of this going forward and in advance of the approaching trial.”
Maxwell’s attorneys threatened the prison with litigation after the alleged incident and also requested the judge to order sharing the movies catching it with the defense.
“In case Ms. Maxwell or defense counsel have the right to see or get copies of these materials as an issue of law, they should be supplied. To this scope defense counsel is trying to all these substances from this court, this application is denied.”
Besides raising attorney-client confidentiality issues, Maxwell’s attorneys also have accused the prison of intimidating and harassing their client. Among Maxwell’s current court filings alleged that she got a”black eye” for unknown motives and did not record it on the guards for fear of retaliation.
Soon after her arrest in July 2020, Maxwell was put on suicide watch and also has been under varying levels of prohibitive watch since that moment. Her attorneys claim that the Bureau of Prisons over-corrected to the lapses that allowed Jeffrey Epstein to die in their custody, in what has been ruled a suicide.
“She is checked at night every 15 minutes with lights shining in her eyes that they can assess her breath,” Maxwell’s lawyer David Markus told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit last month, at an appeal of rulings denying her bond.
“They’re doing it because Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch, and again, she’s not Jeffrey Epstein,” Markus additional later.
Soon after those disagreements, the Second Circuit’s three-judge panel unanimously denied Maxwell’s appeal, however their brief summary order encouraged Maxwell to take her up complaints to the trial judge.
“To this extent [Maxwell] repeats relief particular to her sleeping conditions, such petition ought to be addressed to the District Court,” the board wrote.
Judge Nathan did not comment on Maxwell’s allegations about her treatment in custody.
“The Court intimates no opinions concerning whether some other action or procedure is appropriate or proper in light of either side’s allegations,” her judgment states. “This Court’s duty in this circumstance, and some other, would be to make sure that the defendant is given a chance to meet up with her attorneys, participate in confidential attorney-client communications, and also await trial.”
“Mindful of the responsibility, the Court declines to consider further action at this time,” it proceeds.
Nathan ordered the authorities to confer with legal counsel to allow prison officers to make certain Maxwell has access to overburdened substances.
“If any extra incidents arise, the defense counsel will promptly confer with counsel for the authorities regarding those incidents and endeavor to resolve any such issues swiftly, responsibly, reasonably, and amicably,” the judge added. “If this fails, then the parties may write to the Court jointly indicating their views, identifying and virtually any particular program being made.”
She is currently supposed to stand trial on these charges July 12, and she will be tried individually on allegations that she perjured herself at a defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein’s victim Virginia Giuffre.
Read the judge’s judgment here.
(Screenshot from Maxwell’s defense short )
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