Ghislaine Maxwell could start ‘naming names’ if she is found guilty of sex trafficking charges this week.
Closing arguments in Maxwell’s trial begin tomorrow, with the jury likely to retire that evening.
A legal source connected with the case told The Mail on Sunday that with the Manhattan court breaking for Christmas at the end of Wednesday, a verdict this week is ‘highly likely’, adding: ‘The jury won’t want this hanging over them over Christmas, so lawyers on both sides expect a verdict this week.’
Ghislaine Maxwell could start ‘naming names’ if she is found guilty of sex trafficking charges this week
Maxwell, 59, denies all six charges linked to grooming underage girls for abuse by the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. However, the source said if she is convicted – and facing up to 70 years in prison – she might co-operate with the US Government in exchange for a reduced sentence or better jail conditions.
‘This could be bad news for Prince Andrew and other high-profile men who hung out with Ghislaine and Jeffrey Epstein,’ the source said.
‘It is possible she will begin to co-operate and tell what she knows in an attempt to lessen her jail term. We know that prosecutors are looking at other co-conspirators in connection with Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex ring. Ghislaine undoubtedly possesses information which could assist prosecutors in other cases. If she decides to co-operate, her testimony could be devastating. She was Epstein’s right-hand woman for years, imagine what she knows?’
Prince Andrew’s name has been mentioned three times during the trial, including by one of Epstein’s pilots who confirmed he flew the Prince on the disgraced financier’s private jet dubbed ‘the Lolita Express’ because of the young girls it ferried around the world.
One of them, Virginia Roberts, claims she was forced to have sex with the Prince three times, including at Maxwell’s home in London. He vehemently denies all the allegations and insists he has never met Ms Roberts.
The jury in Maxwell ‘s trial was shown these photos that speak to the close relationship between the pair, which prosecutors have characterize as ‘partners in crime’
Former US presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were also named in court as associates of Epstein, as were actor Kevin Spacey and a slew of Wall Street financiers, politicians and prominent businessmen.
After Epstein committed suicide in jail in 2019 while being held on child sex charges, then-US Attorney General William Barr vowed to prosecute those who aided him.
‘There will be accountability,’ he said. ‘This case will continue against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.’
Maxwell’s lawyers claim she is being punished by proxy for Epstein’s crimes.
On Friday she declined to give evidence in her defence, telling the judge: ‘The government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt so there is no reason for me to testify.’
Maxwell appeared in court yesterday, with lawyers making arguments about how Judge Alison Nathan should instruct the jury. She will read 80 pages of instructions to them tomorrow.
Defence lawyers fought successfully for the judge to refer to the British socialite as ‘Maxwell’ instead of ‘the defendant’ and jurors were told they can weigh up whether she ‘consciously avoided’ knowledge of Epstein’s abuse of underage girls.