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'El Chapo' seeks release from USA prison, says conditions like 'torture'

'El Chapo' seeks release from USA prison, says conditions like 'torture'”

El Chapo's attorneys want Brooklyn Federal Court Justice Brian Cogan to toss the indictment, alleging it violates the extradition treaty between Mexico and the U.S. El Chapo, his lawyers claim, was originally only expected to be transferred to California or Texas.

The sponsor of the drug for 60 years, accused of being the head of the cartel of Sinaloa (northwestern Mexico), is imprisoned in NY for his extradition on 19 January. Prosecutors have accused him of killing thousands of people while running the group and shipping at least 200 tons of cocaine into the United States over decades. Mexico consented for him to be brought to NY after he was already on the jet by issuing a waiver for the Rule of Specialty, which would have allowed him to be tried only on the specific charges he was extradited over, the Times reported.

They also allege that had Mexico known of "the extraordinarily harsh conditions" of his United States confinement, it would never have signed off on his extradition.

Guzman's lawyers say that on January 19, in rapid succession, a Mexican court rejected his appeal of extradition to Texas and California, he was put on a plane, while airborne the USA submitted a request to divert him to NY, it was approved by Mexico's foreign ministry and attorney general, and the plane was diverted to MacArthur Airport on Long Island.

"These conditions amount to torture", wrote his lawyers in a document submitted to the court. "Had Mexico been advised of these conditions, it nearly certainly would not have consented to Mr Guzman's detention and prosecution in this district", said the court papers.

Guzman's lawyers also argued against the seizure of $14 billion in alleged drug profits, claiming they were not included in the original extradition paperwork, the Times reported. Even if Cogan rules to dismiss the indictment because of the extradition, Guzman could still be prosecuted in one of the other cities where he has been indicted.

Following his second successful escape from prison, El Chapo was recaptured in Sinaloa in January 2016.

Guzman faces a litany of firearms, drug trafficking and conspiracy charges in the USA federal court in Brooklyn. If convicted, he will likely spend the rest of his life in a maximum security USA prison.



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