While his trial is due to open on November 29, those close to Ghislaine Maxwell continue to try everything to help him. His family thus seized UN experts on Monday, believing that his continued detention in the United States in the context of the Epstein case is unjustified and that she has no chance of having a fair trial.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s brothers and sisters denounce “serious violations of the rights of the defense and the presumption of innocence, unworthy and degrading treatment that our sister has suffered and continues to suffer in prison where she has been held in solitary confinement since 500 days unjustifiably ”, according to a press release from their lawyers François Zimeray and Jessica Finelle, specializing in human rights cases.
A group without the power of coercion
The latter lodged their request in Geneva, Switzerland with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which has no coercive power but whose appeals have weight because of the reputation for independence and seriousness of its investigations. These experts do not speak for the organization.
The two lawyers stress that their approach is independent of the substantive defense provided in the United States and based solely on what they consider to be “numerous violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”, ratified by the United States. United, and the UN rules on the treatment of prisoners, known as the Mandela Rules.
A fight “against arbitrariness”
“There is a narrow line between justice and revenge. We are not fighting against the complainants but against arbitrariness. Before the court of public opinion, Ms. Maxwell was presumed guilty, condemned and demonized before any judgment, ”underline the lawyers. They also accuse the American authorities of having imprisoned her in particularly harsh conditions.
“Everything is happening as if Ghislaine Maxwell suffered the consequences of the inability of the American administration to preserve the life of Jeffrey Epstein and to guarantee his trial”, they argue. The request also denounces detention “under an exceptional regime”: isolation, numerous daily body searches, 24-hour surveillance, etc.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial is due to be held in New York, two years after the suicide in prison of American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sex crimes against underage girls. The daughter of press magnate Robert Maxwell, born near Paris on December 25, 1961, has triple French, British and American nationality. Accused of having recruited minors for the financier and his entourage, she faces life imprisonment at the end of a trial that will last six weeks. During her trial, she will plead not guilty to the six charges for which she faces up to 80 years in prison, according to her defense.