The pool of potential jurors for the USA drug trafficking trial of accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman continued to shrink on Tuesday, with two people who expressed fears about their safety and one self-described "fan" of the defendant cut from the running.
Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges, including overseeing a violent drug cartel known for violence and escaping Mexican jails twice.
After three long days of selection- Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's jury is set.
On Wednesday, Guzman was awaiting for word on whether he can hug his wife for the first time in almost two years.
Brought back for questioning by District Judge Brian Cogan, he admitted having made the request.
They noted that El Chapo has not had any contact with Emma Coronel Aispuro for two years since his arrest and has not been able to see, call, or write to her while in solitary confinement. The legal docs say, "The only human contact Mr. Guzman has had since his extradition has been with the jail personnel when putting and removing his shackles, and a quick handshake from his attorneys when he goes to court". The 12 jurors and six alternate jurors eventually chosen will remain anonymous and be escorted to and from court by armed federal marshals during the trial, which is expected to last up to four months.
Cogan also reported that one man, who was allowed to stay after being questioned on Monday, had asked a court officer if he could get Guzman's autograph.
One of them was a young woman, whom the judge said had cried profusely in the hall, saying that her mother had told her "we've got to move and get a new house".
A prosecutor said he should be dismissed, while one of Guzman's lawyers, Jeffrey Lichtman, initially objected.