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35 people will defend Ghislaine Maxwell by testifying in sex trafficking case, court papers show

Ghislaine Maxwell, former partner of Jeffrey Epstein, is set to call 35 witnesses during her sex trafficking trial. Court papers show the defense could be larger than that of the prosecution case, which called 24 witnesses over the course of two weeks.

Maxwell’s lawyers shocked those in attendance ahead of defense arguments starting on Thursday by indicating that they expect to hear all 35 of the testimonies within just two or three days.

Some witnesses are traveling from overseas and three of them might not be willing to testify unless their identities remain anonymous by the New York Court. Because so many are ready to be witnesses for the defense, with around ten people testifying per day, Maxwell does not seem likely to get on the stand herself. 

If Maxwell were to testify in her own defense, she would certainly face harsh cross-examination from the prosecution about her life with Epstein. The jury is more likely to hear from Maxwell’s friends and possibly even family members.

Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim wrote a letter to Judge Alison Nathan, saying: “Three of the [defense] witnesses have requested to testify under their first names or under a pseudonym.” The judge’s ruling on that request will impact whether those individuals are able to testify. 

Many details are still being worked out as Maxwell’s defense is still making arrangements for several witnesses who are coming from a variety of locations.

A list of witness names has also not been released to the public. Judge Nathan also ruled that only some small sections of Maxwell’s “little black book” would be released under seal, which is said to contain the names and addresses of nearly 2,000 world leaders, as well as celebrities and businessmen. 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WJLA.COM

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