NEW YORK.- Officially, January 17 is marked as the date for the start of the trial of the former Secretary of Public Safety, Genaro Garcia Luna54 years old, in the Eastern District Court of New York, but there are several intermediate processes.
García Luna is known as the leader of the so-called “war on drugs” during the government of Felipe Calderonbut he had his biggest breakthrough as a federal official in Mexico since the administration of vincent fox both from the National Action Party (PAN).
The former Mexican police commander will face charges similar to those of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in the same courtroom where he was accused, found guilty and sentenced.
A grand jury in Long Island, New York, found sufficient elements to point to García Luna and integrate two of his former collaborators. Luis Cardenas Palomino who in 2008 ironically was appointed Intelligence Coordinator for the Prevention of Crime of the Federal Police, and Ramon Little Garcia former head of Intelligence of that unit and investigated for helping “El Chapo” escape.
There are five charges facing García Luna, who is being held at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, less than 10 minutes away from the court where his trial will take place.
The accusations are: (1) lead a criminal organization for a long periodin this case from the Mexican federal government, said accusation is similar to the one faced by “El Chapo” Guzmán and for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Additionally, Garcia Luna is charged with (2) conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the US; (2) conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine in the US, and (4) conspiracy to import cocaine into the US.
The fifth charge is for false testimony during the immigration process for the Green Card and naturalization before the office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
On January 9, the 400 citizens summoned to participate in the integration of the jury will fill out in court, anonymously, a questionnaire with 79 questions.
The prosecutors will be responsible for scanning all the questionnaires and distributing them to the lawyers involved in the process.
By January 10, prosecutors must return the original questionnaires to the court, as well as deliver a set of copies to the courtroom. Judge Peggy Kuo who will be responsible for the selection process.
It should be remembered that Judge Brian Cogan is the holder of the García Luna process, but Judge Kuo will be responsible for the jury process.
“The parties will review the questionnaires and agree on (1) a list of jurors that are acceptable to both parties and (2) a list of jurors that both parties feel should be excluded,” the court order states.
The two lists of prospective jurors and those excluded will be emailed to Judge Kuo’s courtroom no later than 5:00 p.m.
Once this administrative process has passed, the prosecutors and the defense must appear on January 17 at 9:00 am before Judge Kuo for jury selection.
“Jurors who are not excused and are not found acceptable by both parties will appear for further individual questioning,” he said.
The court states that 30 potential jurors they will be summoned during the day, until there is a final selection.
start of trial
Strictly, the trial of García Luna begins with the selection of the jury, that is, on January 17. Once the process is over, Judge Brian Cogan will determine the opening hearing.
In one of the previous hearings, Judge Cogan indicated that the process would last five weeks and would take place from Monday to Thursday, although it is possible that there will be a session on Fridays, given the complexity of access to some of the cooperators and witnesses, as indicated by the prosecutors.