"Permitting defence counsel to publicly identify witnesses who have not identified themselves on the record in this case risks subjecting witnesses to harassment and intimidation, with no conceivable benefit to the defence other than perhaps discouraging witnesses from co-operating with the Government", prosecutors wrote in court papers.
Lawyers for United Kingdom socialite Ghislaine Maxwell said in a court appeal on Monday that they are seeking to keep provocaitive photographs and other sensitive evidence from the public ahead of her trial.
The lawyer said the public release of the April and July 2016 depositions should be blocked because they form the basis of criminal perjury charges in the indictment brought against Maxwell.
Earlier this month, Maxwell was arrested in a luxury hiding place in New Hampshire and faced six federal charges by accusing her or recruiting Epstein's underage victims of physical assault.More news: James Murdoch resigns from News Corp, citing "disagreements" over editorial content
As attorneys for Maxwell sought to come to an agreement with prosecutors on secrecy rules- typical for a sex abuse case - in which both sides agree to keep the evidence confidential before the trial, the lawyers could not compromise on whether to extend the rules to the state's witnesses. She sued Maxwell for calling her account "obvious lies".
Preska, who inherited the case following the death of the original trial court judge Robert Sweet, eventually settled on initiating the process to review the documents in stages.
Though Maxwell argued that release of these records would cause her undue embarrassment and annoyance, Preska ordered the documents partially unsealed, with names of non-parties other than John Does 1 and 2 remaining sealed, pending notification. Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell a day after the ruling was handed down.
Defence lawyers said on Monday that banning them from publicly identifying alleged victims or potential witnesses in the case will hinder their ability to investigate, prepare witnesses for trial and advocate on Maxwell's behalf.More news: Russia Aims for COVID-19 Vaccine by Mid-August
However, they came to be in the hands of the U.S. government, which used statements made by the heiress to charge her with perjury in an indictment filed last month.
"They set a perjury trap for Ms. Maxwell when (Giuffre) took her deposition".
If not for the promise of confidentiality for her testimony, Maxwell would have invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during the deposition, her lawyers said. Evan Ezray, a spokesman for Guiffre's lawyers, Sigrid MacCawley and David Boies, didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.
Prosecutors from the Southern District of NY, in turn, said that "discussions are ongoing" over what materials should be made public in the run-up to the trial.More news: Rio Tinto sees profits slide, but eyes US$2.5bln dividend
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