The former aide to financier Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, poses an “extreme” flight risk if released, Manhattan’s federal prosecutor argued Monday ahead of a crucial hearing Tuesday.
Arrested in New Hampshire on July 2 after several months on the run, this jet-set figure was charged with involvement in a pedophile ring and inciting prostitution.
She is said to have recruited several teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein in several cities around the world.
The financier hanged himself in his cell in early August 2019, a few weeks after his arrest.
On Friday, Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers proposed a financial package that guaranteed a $5 million bail to allow his release pending trial.
On Monday, Manhattan federal prosecutor Audrey Strauss asked federal judge Alison Nathan to dismiss the request, arguing that Ghislaine Maxwell posed an “extreme” flight risk.
The prosecution points out that the daughter of former British media mogul Robert Maxwell has substantial financial resources and a network of knowledge abroad.
She also enjoys French nationality, which would make her extradition impossible if she took refuge in France once released.
The prosecutor also recalls that Ghislaine Maxwell hid for several months after the Epstein case broke, knowing that the American authorities were interested in her testimony.
The prosecution also points out that the proposed arrangement for the surety is based on a guarantee and not on actual payment.
“The court should take this proposal into account for what it is worth: nothing,” prosecutor Strauss wrote.
The prosecution also dismisses the argument that Ghislaine Maxwell should be released given the risk of contamination at Covid-19 in the Federal Prison in Brooklyn where she is currently being held.
The prosecutor asserts that arrangements have been made by the prison to limit these risks.
Tuesday’s hearing, in the form of a teleconference, should be an opportunity to discuss the appropriateness of release and allow Ghislaine Maxwell to plead not guilty.