(CNN Spanish) — The defense of Genaro García Luna, former Secretary of Public Security of Mexico, again attacked this Wednesday the credibility of the witnesses that the Prosecutor’s Office presented in the drug trafficking trial against his client. In that sense, he affirmed that those who took the stand only want to take advantage of the United States justice system in exchange for benefits.
Lawyer César de Castro, García Luna’s defender, presented the final arguments with a strategy similar to that of his cross-examinations of the Prosecutor’s witnesses. During the hearings, de Castro always sought to highlight the criminal history of these witnesses to minimize the statements that point to his client having deals with organized crime.
“There is no money, there are no photos, there are no videos, there are no texts, there are no emails, there are no recordings, there are no documents, there is nothing. I told them that the Prosecutor’s Office was going to overwhelm them with quantity, but not with quality. That is why they presented 26 witnesses. Most of them spoke largely about things that had nothing to do with this case,” de Castro said.
The lawyer explained that only seven of those witnesses said they knew García Luna personally. And of them, according to him, only three admitted that they were present when they would have given money to García Luna. One of those three, highlighted de Castro, “has no credibility at all.”
He was referring to “Lobo” Valencia, who first declared that he had paid more than US$10 million to the former secretary of Citizen Security, and then retracted his story, saying that he had never met García Luna.
De Castro emphasized that the witnesses who testified against García Luna “want to stay in the United States, bring their families and, as a bonus, they want to send the man who arrested them and who was the best-known face and most associate to jail.” important for the United States in the war against drug trafficking”.
The defender reiterated the criminal nature of the witnesses and highlighted the fact that they have sent tons of cocaine to the US “The Prosecutor’s Office wants us to believe that even though they committed these crimes, it does not mean that they are now lying. However, they lied every day when they were part of the cartel.” He added that they are people who have gotten used to lying to get everything they wanted.
The defense request
All this argument served as a framework for de Castro to ask the judge to instruct the jury on the withdrawal of the charges against García Luna (known as “withdrawal instruction”, in English). According to the defense, it is a way of declaring his client innocent regardless of the conclusion of the verdict.
The defense argues that when García Luna left the Mexican government in 2012, he was no longer part of the conspiracy to import drugs into the United States. If so, according to this reasoning, the Prosecutor’s Office should have presented the charges no later than 2017 due to the so-called “status of limitations”, which imposes on the government the obligation to present the accusation within a period of five years.
The defender stressed that this did not mean that the former Secretary of Citizen Security of Mexico acknowledges the charges against him, but rather that he adheres to that allegation of the “status of limitations” because the United States Government presented the accusation after the deadline. legal.
The Prosecutor’s Office assures that García Luna never stopped participating in the shipment of drugs to the country.
Judge Brian Cogan said he would explain to the jury that it is up to the defense to show that the defendant ceased to participate in the conspiracy by taking specific action against the target of that conspiracy. In his opinion, what he called “passive action” – and here he cited the example of leaving employment – is not enough to rid himself of the alleged criminal plot.
The jury cannot consider this argument unless it finds Garcia Luna guilty of the conspiracy charges, Cogan explained.
García Luna faces several counts of participation in an ongoing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to obtain, import and distribute thousands of kilograms of cocaine in the US, in addition to allegedly making false statements to US immigration officials. The former official has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Now all that remains is to wait for the verdict of the jury.
López Obrador described García Luna’s lawyer as a “false and slanderer”
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, responded this Wednesday to the reports about the mention of his name in the trial against García Luna.
The reaction comes after César de Castro, one of the former official’s defense lawyers, in the cross-examination of Jesús “El Rey” Zambada, asked him on Tuesday if in 2007 he declared that he had delivered millions of dollars for the electoral campaign of López Obrador 2006 through an intermediary.
In his conference, López Obrador described García Luna’s lawyer as a “false and slanderer” and said that he was wrong to point out that he was supposedly given US$7 million to campaign against PAN member Vicente Fox.
On Tuesday, Zambada replied that he never said that, that it could not be written because it was not true.
In the 2006 presidential election, López Obrador lost to Felipe Calderón, not Fox.
This Thursday, when leaving the court, César de Castro told CNN that he was not going to make any comment, neither about the case nor anything related to the words of the president of Mexico. However, at the insistence of the journalists, the lawyer stated that he had asked Jesús Zambada a question about what, according to him, he had said in other statements, and that it was the witness’s response that had to be taken into account. Reminded that Jesus Zambada had denied that at Tuesday’s hearing, De Castro said: “If you believe everything Zambada says, good luck with that.”