Lawyers for the Mexico drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman argued that his jail conditions are too restrictive in a Friday court hearing, according to CBS News. Specifically, his defense lawyers brought up his 23-hour isolation, inability to see his wife and lack of drinking water.
“This was so far the only way she has been able to see him,” defense attorney Michelle Gelernt said, referring to Guzman's wife sitting in the Brooklyn courtroom.
Guzman, who was recently extradited to the United States after escaping from a maximum security prison in Mexico, pleaded not guilty to charges of running a drug trafficking operation that laundered billions of dollars and prompted murders and kidnappings.
He currently resides in a high-security prison in Manhattan.
Conditions are so deplorable, his lawyers said, that El Chapo has been denied basic conditions needed to survive.
"I don't think there's any thought that if I have the guards give him a glass of water during a three-hour meeting that somehow that's going to effectuate his escape," Gelernt told reporters.
During the hearing, US District Judge Brian Cogan noted that Guzman's case is highly complex and unusual. He said he would defer security arrangements to the Justice Department and the Metropolitan Correctional Center, NBC News reported.
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