A judge has unsealed a huge tranche of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein that could reveal his friendship with powerful men who are accused of having sex with his victims.
Judge Loretta Preska said Thursday that 80 documents – which will span hundreds of pages – should be published within a week.
The documents will contain statements by Ghislaine Maxwell that could explain her alleged role in Epstein's sex trade.
The papers included flight logs from Epstein's private jets, a 2016 deposit certificate Maxwell's lawyers said she had been asked "intrusive" questions about her sex life, and police reports from Palm Beach, Florida, where Epstein was at home.
They will also include communications between Maxwell and Epstein as of January 2015, when Virginia Roberts filed explosive charges against them in court records.
Roberts claimed in the newspapers that she had been forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was just 17, on Epstein's orders.
The case is separate from the criminal case against 58-year-old Maxwell, who is accused by the Federal Prosecutor's Office of having found girls aged 14 and older for abuse by Epstein. She has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial next year.
A judge ordered that a huge tranche of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein be unsealed on Wednesday, which could reveal his friendship with powerful men accused of having sex with his victims. The documents will contain statements by Ghislaine Maxwell (depicted with Epstein) that could explain her alleged role in Epstein's sex trade
The case decided on Thursday was originally brought by Roberts, a 36-year-old mother of three, who lives in Australia and bears her married name Virginia Giuffre.
She sued Maxwell for defamation in 2015 because Maxwell accused her of lying.
Roberts said in court records that Maxwell had recruited her and other girls into a sex trade ring for "politically connected and financially powerful people."
The case decided on Thursday was originally brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre (image)
The case was settled in 2017 for an undisclosed sum, but media organizations sued that documents should be published in the case.
During the Manhattan Federal Court hearing, Judge Preska said Maxwell's right to privacy was offset by the need to make the documents public.
She went through dozens of documents, including Giuffres statements and various boring-sounding legal documents.
However, the content could be explosive and include new evidence against the wealthy elite who socialized with Epstein.
After the verdict, Maxwell's lawyer Laura Menninger asked for a two-week delay in unsealing so that they could appeal to the Second Circuit in New York.
Menninger said: “There have been some significant changes in my client's positions that may have been known to anyone who heard this as we discussed (possibly) an ongoing criminal investigation since Miss Maxwell was charged and brought to justice planned.
"Now we are in a completely different position and have serious concerns about our customers' ability to get a fair trial because the media is intensely concerned with everything that is not sealed."
Giuffres lawyer Sigrid McCawley said she wanted the documents to be published "as soon as possible".
Judge Preska said that if the Second Circle hadn't decided within a week, the files should be published.
The documents will also include communications between Maxwell and Epstein as of January 2015, when Virginia Roberts filed explosive charges against her in court records. Roberts claimed in the newspapers that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew (pictured together) three times when she was 17 years old on Epstein's orders
The lawsuit for the release of the documents was originally filed by the Miami Herald and her reporter Julie Brown, whose series on Epstein, entitled "Perversion of Justice" in 2018, re-focused the case and led to his arrest last July.
As a result, there are thousands of pages of documents that are continuously published.
Every time a person's name appears, they will be notified and have the opportunity to object to the publication of their name.
There were two John Does in this last batch, but according to court records, they didn't file any complaints when asked to comment.
The Second Circuit had already ordered 2,000 pages of documents to be published in August of last year, one day before Epstein killed himself.
The documents contained the unpublished manuscript of a treatise by Epstein prosecutor Virginia Roberts, describing her years of abuse by him.
There were testimonies from Epstein's pilots, his former employees, and flight logs that showed how he traveled around the world with his victims and famous people like Bill Clinton.
Among those interested in the defamation case are lawyers for a "John Doe" who appears to be someone mentioned in the documents.
His identity is unclear, but former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barack is one of the powerful men accused of involvement in Epstein.
The same day Maxwell received another blow when the judge who oversaw her criminal trial refused her request to choke the FBI, prosecutors, and victims' lawyers.
Judge Alison Nathan said Maxwell could still get a fair trial, but warned that if someone went wrong, she would "not hesitate to take appropriate action".
Maxwell's lawyers had alleged that comments from prosecutors and victims' lawyers led to a jury being biased against them.
The same day Maxwell received another blow when the judge who oversaw her criminal trial refused her request to choke the FBI, prosecutors, and victims' lawyers. Judge Alison Nathan said Maxwell could still get a fair trial, but warned that if someone went wrong, she would "not hesitate to take appropriate action"
Pagliuca complained about FBI special agent William Sweeney, who described Maxwell as the "villain" who "slipped onto a beautiful New Hampshire estate" (image)
Lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein's alleged woman had objected to the FBI and described her as a "slippery snake" at a press conference announcing her arrest on July 2.
Maxwell's lawyers' letter on Tuesday said: "We are writing to ask the Court to issue an order prohibiting the government, its agents, and witnesses from making extrajudicial statements on the case.
Although Ms. Maxwell is innocent, the government, its agents, witnesses, and lawyers have made statements that interfere with fair trial.
"A defendant has to be judged by a jury of her colleagues on the basis of evidence that was presented in court and not in the media."
Maxwell's lawyer, Jeff Pagliuca, outlined seven broad categories that prosecutors, the FBI, and victims' lawyers are not allowed to speak about.
This included "the character or reputation of the accused" and "any opinion of the guilt or innocence of the accused or the merits of the case or the evidence in the case".
Pagliuca said he was forced to act after the case was improperly dealt with, starting with the raid on Maxwell's $ 1 million New Hampshire house on July 2.
He complained that she was arrested "without notice" even though her lawyers were in regular contact with prosecutors.
Pagliuca wrote: “Because simple vanilla capitulations lack fanfare and media coverage, the secret armed robberies are offered at dawn, the government decided to intrude Ms. Maxwell's New Hampshire residence, arrest her, and host a media presentation with numerous statements affect Ms. Maxwell's right to a fair trial ”.
The letter strongly contradicted the comments made by Audrey Strauss, the chief prosecutor who oversaw her case that Maxwell had lied because the truth was almost unspeakable.
Pagliuca complained that FBI special agent William Sweeney called Maxwell a "villain" who "slipped onto a beautiful property in New Hampshire".
The letter said, "This is how Mr. Sweeney offers the government completely wrong opinions about character and guilt, while at the same time invoking a semi-biblical reference that a snake slides into a garden in New Hampshire."
– By Daniel Bates for DailyMail.com
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