Ghislaine Maxwell 'may be a victim too', suggests judge deciding whether to unseal tranche of secret documents
A judge weighing whether to unseal sworn testimony given by Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, has suggested that the socialite “may be a victim too.”
一名法官在权衡是否解封已故名誉扫地的金融家杰弗里·爱泼斯坦(Jeffrey Epstein)的长期助手吉斯莱恩·马克斯韦尔(Ghislaine Maxwell)的宣誓证词，认为这位社会名流“可能也是受害者”。
The British heiress is urging a panel ofjudges in a federal appeals court in New York to overturn a lower court decision ruling to make public the documents, which Maxwell claims will jeopardise her ability to defend against criminal charges she enabled Epstein's sexual abuse of girls.
Ms Maxwell, 58, who is currently in a Brooklyn prison awaiting trial, has pleaded not guilty to charges she helped the billionaire recruit and groom underage girls as young as 14 years old to engage in illegal sexual acts in the mid-1990s.
Related video: Insider Maxwell and Esptein’s relationship and abuse
The evidence in question relates to a deposition she gave in 2016 in a civil case brought by Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says the late billionaire forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew, and others, when she was 17. The Duke of York denies all allegations.
Prosecutors at the Southern District of New York allege the heiress committed perjury during her testimony by claiming she had no knowledge of the abuse, charges she denies.
The depositions are Ms Maxwell’s only on-the-record account of her association with Epstein and his sex-trafficking ring. Her lawyers argue it was given under an expectation of confidentiality that had been agreed to by both sides in the dispute.
Parts of it were unsealed by a judge last year and another tranche was made public in July.
David Boies, attorney for Ms Giuffre, argued in court on Tuesday that it was "unfair" that only selective portions of the documents had been unsealed.
"People reading it don't have the entire context," he said, arguing that the reputation of Ms Giuffre, who sued Maxwell for defamation after she claimed she was lying about her abuse, was at stake. "It will prejudice our client if the public is given a misleading view," he added.
Judge Rosemary Pooler questioned why the remainder of the evidence needed to be made public if Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit had already been settled.
“Ms Maxwell may be a victim as well,” she said, alluding to her upcoming criminal trial.
Transcripts were designated “confidential” and subject to a protective order, however, they came to be in the hands of the US government.
Maxwell’s lawyers have tried to claim that the trove of documents - which could expose fresh details about her sex life as well as her relation to powerful figures accused of taking part in the abuse of the late billionaire's victims - would result in “substantial negative media publicity and speculation in an internet world."
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals will decide either to confirm their unsealing or reject the ruling by US District Judge Loretta Preska.
“The documents at issue have been improperly sealed for years - in a way that allowed Mr Epstein, Ms Maxwell, and others’ abuse of young girls to go on unchallenged and unpunished, and allowed a legal system that protected perpetrators over victims to go unquestioned,” attorney Christine Walz wrote in the legal brief opposing the appeal.
律师克里斯汀·沃尔兹(Christine Walz)在反对上诉的法律简报中写道：“多年来，这些有争议的文件一直被不当封存-这种方式允许爱泼斯坦、马克斯韦尔女士和其他人虐待年轻女孩的行为不受质疑和惩罚，并允许保护肇事者而不是受害者的法律体系不受质疑，”律师克里斯蒂娜·沃尔兹(Christine Walz)在反对上诉的法律简报中写道。
Ms Giuffre is one of Epstein's most visible public accusers, and believes the public has a right to see Maxwell's deposition, which came from Ms Giuffre's civil defamation lawsuit against her.
Tuesday's hearing will also address a second Maxwell appeal, from criminal Judge Alison Nathan’s refusal to modify a protective order and let her access confidential materials produced by the government.
Maxwell's lawyers hope to use those materials to convince Judge Preska not to unseal the deposition, saying the judge deserved to know "just how prosecutors obtained the deposition material and who turned it over to them."
Prosecutors countered that Maxwell has shown no need for the materials, and that her appeal was a "thinly veiled attempt" to have the appeals court declare they gathered evidence illegally.