EL Chapo trial jury selection begins in Brooklyn

EL Chapo trial jury selection begins in Brooklyn

EL Chapo trial jury selection begins in Brooklyn

In the United States, the trial of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is set to begin on Monday.

It is alleged that he spent a quarter of a century smuggling more than 155 tonnes of cocaine into the United States.

Guzman is known for a series of daring prison escapes, including a 2015 escape from Mexico's most secure prison via a tunnel under his cell's shower.

He said he was concerned that the prosecutors had indicated that they were prepared to present evidence that Guzman was involved in more than 30 murder conspiracies, even though the charges against him are for drug trafficking.

Guzman faces 11 trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges.

The trial, which one expert says will cost the USA taxpayer more than $50m (£38m), will hear several hundred witnesses testify.

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The Sinaloa cartel that Guzman founded in 1989 is still hugely powerful.

U.S. prosecutors say that as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel since 2003, Guzman directed the movement of multi-ton shipments of drugs including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine across borders and into the United States.

During the trial there will be increased security, including patrols by heavily armed federal agents. The price tag includes protection programs for at least some of the several hundred witnesses expected to testify.

Prosecutors, defence lawyers, and US District Judge Brian Cogan will start by choosing jurors for what is expected to be a four-month trial.

Guzman has been held in solitary confinement in NY since Mexico extradited him and he spends 23 hours a day in his cell.

Guzman was re-captured in January 2016 after a visit from Hollywood actor Sean Penn and a Mexican actress, who wanted to make a film about his life, allowed Mexican authorities to trace his whereabouts.

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