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NEW YORK.- The complicated selection of the jury for the trial of Genaro Garcia Luna has had several high points, including a point forced judge Peggy Kuo to stop prosecutor Saritha Komatireddyafter a claim about their decisions.
The prosecutor pressured the judge to remove applicant 109 from the list of potential jurors, a retired teacher who expressed several questions about the evidence that could be presented against García Luna, considering that some cooperators or witnesses could be ” subjective”.
The defense led by César de Castro did not object to this possible jurybut prosecutor Komatireddy considered that the position of the teacher withdrawn could cause doubts in the evaluation of the evidence, so she asked the judge to address her concerns.
In the face of Judge Kuo’s refusal, the prosecutor questioned why the judge was taking De Castro’s concerns about possible doubts from certain jurors into consideration.
“Are you accusing me of being biased?” Judge Kuo said, visibly upset.
The prosecutor considered that when De Castro expresses some doubt about a possible member of the jurythe judge has taken this concern into consideration to discard a possible member of the panel.
This only complicated the situation. The judge expressed emphatically. “I finished!”.
The possible juror was left on the list that will later be purged, but prosecutors are concerned that she believes that a police officer generates more confidence in her testimony than a cooperator.
The selection of the jury will continue this Wednesday, but the list of the 12 members of the panel and the six alternates will be finalized on Thursday morning.
It is possible that the opening of the case with the arguments of the prosecutors and the defense will begin on Thursday afternoon, but that will be decided on Thursday morning after agreement between the parties.
Otherwise, everything would start on Monday, since Judge Brian Cogan, who is leading the judicial process, previously indicated that the hearings will be from Monday to Thursday.
García Luna is accused of five countsincluding directing a criminal organization for a long period, in addition to three cases of conspiracy to traffic cocaine to the United States.
The trial could last up to eight weeks, according to Judge Kuo, although Judge Cogan had indicated that it would be five weeks.
So far, 91 New Yorkers have been interviewed to serve on the jury, of which 42 have been removed from the list for various reasons, including taking a stand against the judicial system and criticizing the fight against drug trafficking.