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Ghislane Maxwell may be freed on bail over COVID-19 fears

Saturday - July 11, 2020 3:03 pm , Category : WORLD
New York, July 11 (IANS) Lawyers of Ghislane Maxwell have said the British socialite, who was arrested on July 2 in accusation of assisting late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein's abuse of minors, should be released on a $5 million bail while awaiting trial over risk of contracting COVID-19 in jail.
In a statement on Friday, Maxwell's defence team said her detention at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, New York, puts her at "serious risk" of contracting coronavirus, reports the BBC.
They said she was not a flight risk and asked the judge to release her from custody on $5 million bail, signed by six of her associates and secured by a $3.75 million on property in the UK.
Under the proposed bail conditions, Maxwell, 58, would surrender her passports from the US, UK and France and would confine herself to a property in New York with electronic GPS monitoring.
Her lawyers argued that Maxwell had not been in contact with the late American financier and sex offender for more than a decade before his death in his jail cell last August.
A federal judge in Manhattan will decide on Tuesday whether to grant bail. She faces up to 35 years if convicted.
Four of the charges Maxwell faces relate to the years 1994-97 when she was, according to the prosecutors, among Epstein's closest associates and also in an "intimate relationship" with him, the BBC reported.
An indictment has said that Maxwell "assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein's abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18".
The other two charges are allegations of perjury in 2016.
Maxwell has mostly been out of public view since 2016 and was arrested at her Bradford, New Hampshire, home on July 2.

--IANS ksk/