Exclusive interviews and coverage of the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell

Maxwell Conviction Can Be Overturned, Says Top Attorney After Multiple Concerns Raised

Ghislaine Maxwell is being used “as a proxy” and it is possible to have her recent sentence overturned, a renowned attorney has claimed.

Arthur Aidala, who represented Harvey Weinstein during his Manhattan trial and who has now been hired by Maxwell, told reporters that his new client’s controversial legal case saw the former socialite and environmental activist being subjected to “inhumane conditions”.

“By the time of trial, she was so disoriented and diminished that she was unable meaningfully to assist in her own defence, much less to testify,” he said.

Aidala hit headlines for being on the defence team of renowned US lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who was falsely accused of multiple acts of rape by Virginia Giuffre.

Giuffre, who has accused a string of celebrities, business people, and politicians, had already been exposed as having lied in some of her accounts before she finally acknowledged she “may have been mistaken” in accusing prof Dershowitz.

Arthur Aidala with Prof. Alan Dershowitz in 2017. Photo credit: Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan

This is not the first time that complaints have been raised over Ghislaine Maxwell’s treatment behind bars in the run-up to standing trial.

Languishing in a Brooklyn jail renowned for its unsanitary conditions and widespread condemnation from human rights groups, in the weeks and months leading up to her trial, Maxwell remained imprisoned in a small six foot by nine foot cell, with basic human rights such as the right to rest and sleep seemingly denied.

“Is she a suicide risk or not?” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan, a Donald Trump appointee demanded to know at a joint panel hearing shortly before the trial began. “Has the BOP concluded she’s a suicide risk, or is it some other reason that they’re shining lights all night long?”

Answering, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Pomerantz said the government has not been told that Maxwell is a suicide risk, and passed-off the conditions of Maxwell’s confinement as “routine”.

“Routine to shine lights into the eyes of every prisoner every fifteen minutes during the night?” Pierre Leval, another prominent judge, appointed by Clinton, asked with suspicion. “Are you really telling us that?”

“There is absolutely nothing routine about it,” Defence Attorney David Markus interjected. “She’s been treated differently than any inmate ever in that institution.”

“BOP has never come out and said Ghislaine Maxwell is suicidal, because she’s not” he added. “They do this for the reason that Judge Level said, which is they don’t want an embarrassment like they had with Jeffrey Epstein. But that’s not a reason to treat someone in inhumane conditions so that they can’t prepare for trial.”

“For example, she’s kept up at night every 15 minutes with lights shined in her eyes so that they can check her breathing.

“She’s not suicidal. There’s no evidence that she’s suicidal. Why is the Bureau of Prisons doing this? They’re doing this because Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch.”

Inmates peer out through barred windows during a period of the prison’s heating and electricity breaking down for almost a week

Speaking to the press, a source from the prison holding Maxwell said: “Given the death of Jeffrey Epstein in prison, everyone is obviously anxious to make sure that nothing happens to Ghislaine Maxwell.”

In June 2022, Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years after being found guilty of offences in connection with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – but her family and legal team remain hopeful that ‘true justice’ will be served and her conviction may be overturned.

In his recent comments, Aidala contends that New York federal prosecutors breached a non-prosecution agreement made as part of Epstein’s 2007 plea deal in Florida, which prevented others from being prosecuted in relation to Epstein’s crimes. This, Aidala and others have claimed, should have legally barred charges from ever being brought against Maxwell to begin with.

“As a matter of due process, the government should be held to the highest standards of both promise and performance in its agreement with its citizens,” the attorney said.

Aidala also referenced a scandal involving a member of the jury from Ghislaine’s trial, Scotty David, who failed in his legal obligation to disclose that he had been sexually abused as a child, a fact that made him potentially biased and unfit to act as a juror.

It is standard procedure for jurors to be selected through a process that enables both sides of the courtroom to root out candidates who may display a lack of impartiality throughout the trial and when deciding the verdict.

Juror Scotty failed to disclose being an alleged child abuse survivor, before going on to ‘brag’ about influencing other jurors to find Maxwell guilty of child sex trafficking charges

Along with criminal background checks, the defence and prosecution ask each candidate a set of questions, e.g. “Have you ever met Jeffrey Epstein?”, “Do you know any of the witnesses?” “What do you know about Ghislaine Maxwell?” “What have you read in the news?”, and “have you or a close family member been a victim of any of the crimes covered in the upcoming trial?”

Jurors are grilled because jurors must be impartial. They are then, once again under oath, asked to disclose anything that might impact their impartiality in the trial.

More importantly in this case, on a legal questionnaire, and under oath, each juror answers question 48: “Have you or a family member ever been a victim of sexual abuse?”

To this question, jury member Scotty David answered ‘no’. As did another juror who wished to remain anonymous.

Both told the press that they didn’t disclose their potential bias until the deliberations began, and only to fellow jury members – with both now coming forward to admit that they used their own personal experiences of being sex abuse victims to ‘guide them’ through the trial.

In an interview with The Independent Scotty David said he’d used his experience to influence the jury when they began to rightly question the contradictions in the four accuser’s testimonies, and waited to reveal his past until that moment, saying that the ‘jury room went dead silent’ as he shared his story.

Scotty also said he believed he persuaded fellow jurors to not question the accusers at all – to instantly believe them, thus creating significant bias and rendering the accused, i.e. Maxwell, automatically guilty regardless of any evidence or lack thereof; despite Maxwell’s legal right to the presumption of innocence.

“We are not here to judge these victims,” he told The Independent. “We are here to judge whether we believe their stories, but we are not here to judge the decisions they made or didn’t make.”

Further, Scotty told the Daily Mail that the accuser’s claims were ‘corroborated by a significant amount of evidence’, despite this being generally accepted not to have been the case, and specifically mentioned witness ‘Kate’ as an example – despite jurors being told they weren’t allowed to consider Kate’s testimony as evidence because she was over the age of consent at the time she alleges the events to have taken place.

In interviews given by the second juror, they also stated they believed sharing their own sex abuse stories to the other jurors helped lead uncertain jurors towards a conviction.

However, the judge who presided over Maxwell’s case, Alison Nathan, who herself has been accused of bias, rejected Maxwell’s bid for a mistrial to be called.

Ghislaine Maxwell, recently photographed exercising behind bars

Maxwell was “denied her right to be tried by a fair and impartial jury when a juror revealed that he gave made materially false statements in jury selection that concealed that he had experienced the ‘exact same thing’ as the victims, namely, childhood sexual abuse”, Aidala added. “To compound the error, during jury deliberations, he used his undisclosed prior experience to convince other jurors that the defendant was guilty.”

A number of additional issues relating to the handling of the trial have also been raised, including proven inconsistencies in the testimonies of some of Maxwell’s accusers. This comes after dozens of contradictions and demonstrable lies in claims made by serial accuser Virginia Giuffre were revealed.

With Ghislaine Maxwell’s appeal now officially lodged, last week, Maxwell’s siblings issued a statement highlighting numerous serious issues with the handling of their sister’s case,

Condemning her treatment behind bars, contradictions in statements, and a potential miscarriage of justice, the Maxwell family said that there had been serious concerns as far back as the time the FBI called for her arrest, following a brutal media campaign against her.

“She had no need to hide from the FBI because she knew herself to be innocent,” the family said in the statement.

“Ghislaine did not leave the United States from the time of Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest. Had she had the slightest doubt about that she would have left the US for France where, as a French citizen, she could not have been extradited.

“Against the background of Barr’s expressed embarrassment about the death of Jeffrey Epstein whilst in custody, Southern District of New York (SDNY) Attorney, Audrey Strauss, arranged a heavily choreographed press conference in which Ghislaine was outrageously criminalised in the eyes of the world. Following the press conference, she could not have received a fair trial and did not receive one.

“Ghislaine’s Appeal which is launched today shows how far the Government and the trial court erred in enabling her convictions and how essential it is in the interests of justice that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturn them.”

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