Last Updated on December 17, 2021
Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense lawyers were given an ultimatum by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan today after delaying proceedings with several requests related to witnesses.
Maxwell’s legal team was admonished by Nathan after a series of delays related to requests it made for witnesses it planned to call, according to the Miami Herald, who summarized the abrupt exchange: “Ghislaine Maxwell’s judge tells her lawyers to hurry it up.”
“You have your next witness or else you rest,” Nathan told the defense team. “I’m not delaying the trial.”
Still, Maxwell’s lawyer pleaded for more time. “Our client’s life is on the line,” they argued.
The prosecution rested its case against Maxwell on December 10, and the defense has struggled to mount its case since, at times claiming that it did not expect for the prosecutors to rest their case so quickly.
Nathan was not swayed, however, and said that the defense had plenty of time to prepare its case regardless.
Recently, Nathan refused Maxwell’s lawyers’ attempt to allow witnesses to be called and deliver their testimony anonymously.
As previously noted, some found this particularly egregious after the defense compared its witnesses to the the prosecution’s witnesses, which included alleged rape victims who were forced to recount traumatic experiences and accuse powerful individuals of committing rape and sex trafficking while on the stand. National File reported:
They argued their witnesses should be afforded the same rights as the prosecution’s witnesses, but Judge Nathan said she “disagreed with this basic premise.”
In the case of the prosecution, many of the women testifying were alleged victims of the sexual abuse committed by Epstein and Maxwell. Because of the trauma they went through, it is common for them to be allowed anonymity.
For the defense, there is no clear reason as to why the witnesses would need anonymity. Presumably, the witnesses are concerned about receiving backlash for aiding the defense of an alleged abuser.
News regarding the trial has been harder to find on social media after the popular Maxwell Trial Tracker account was recently banned by Twitter with no explanation.