GHISLAINE Maxwell’s lawyers have understandably requested that her next court appearance be in person, rather than via video link, following a shambolic series of events that saw supporters of extremist conspiracy group QANON hack into the live feed.
In a further blow to her rights, Ms Maxwell’s January video hearing was illegally streamed on YouTube and watched by over 14,000 people, with QAnon supporters posting toxic, fact-resistant messages throughout.
During the January hearing a deputy clerk at Manhattan Federal Court interrupted proceedings to tell the Judge that the hearing was being illegally live-streamed.
“Whoever is doing it, you are operating against the law,” the judge reportedly said.
“I suspect there is a way to find out. So I will ask you, most respectfully, to stop doing it.”
Qanon is a far-right pro-Trump conspiracy movement that gained worldwide support, despite being fully debunked.
The movement centres around a false and bizarre theory that celebrities and Democrat politicians are in collusion to traffic children to ‘harvest their blood’.
The bonkers conspiracy theory was an offshoot of Pizzagate – another dangerous folly that accused Hillary Clinton of satanic worship and trafficking children in the basement of a Washington pizza parlour.
The conspiracy theory – mainly promoted by Republicans, WikiLeaks, and even by colleagues of former President Trump – led to a gunman storming the pizza house only to find that no such basement existed.
Qanon has also directly influenced acts of terrorism, with numerous foiled plots and at least three ‘members’ sent to prison for planning to carry out acts of terror based on disinformation pedalled by the movement.
Serious questions have been raised over the security of the court process and the right for Ghislaine Maxwell to have a fair trial.
“As counsel has notified the government, Ms Maxwell is requesting an in-person arraignment. She will not waive that right, most especially in light of media coverage and the debacle that occurred during a remote proceeding in a related civil case before Judge Preska,” her lawyers said in a court filing.