The brother of alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell has said everybody is “washing their hands” of taking responsibility for the British socialite’s trial conditions.
Kevin Maxwell urged the US Attorney General Merrick Garland to “live up to the duty of care they owe an innocent person” following the sixth day of his sister’s New York trial.
He told reporters the 59-year-old is receiving “inadequate sustenance” and the shackles she is restrained in have made her bleed and bruise.
Speaking outside court the Federal court in the Southern District of New York on Monday, Mr Maxwell said: “This is about the conditions at trial of our sister, Ghislaine.
“There are three things that we have asked the Attorney General Merrick Garland to intervene on today urgently and they are very, very simple things and we really shouldn’t have to ask for them.
“The first is that he stops the abuse of the four-point restraints.
“These are shackles, they bind her wrists to her waist and her feet to her waist and she is shackled from the moment that she leaves the Metropolitan Detention Centre until she arrives in the pending cell here in the courthouse, and the reverse when she goes back to the detention centre in the evening.
“She’s obliged to walk up and down stairs, in the shackles, and they hurt her.
“She’s been bruised, she’s even bled, and you really have to ask yourself in 2021, what on earth are they doing shackling a 59-year-old woman in this way every day when she represents absolutely no threat to the community.”
Mr Maxwell continued: “The second thing that we ask for is that she receives food.
“It’s a pretty basic thing that we all need every day.
“She’s on trial for her life and she received no food on the first day, she received a boiled egg, she is lucky if it is not mouldy, she receives a couple of pieces of bread, maybe a Kraft slice and a banana or an apple.
“That is literally everything from 6.30am until 7.30pm when she gets back to the detention centre.
“It is simply inadequate sustenance.
“We don’t understand how it is possible that everybody washes their hands of that problem.
“The judge says it’s not her problem even though it’s happening in her courtroom, the Marshall service say it’s not their problem – they blame the bureau of prisons, the bureau of prisons say it’s not their problem because she’s off site.
“So the only person who can make a difference and who is responsible for everything here is Merrick Garland, the Attorney General.
“We have simply asked him to organise that the Bureau of Prisons gives her a food parcel every day, with something nutritious and not a mouldy boiled egg.
“We don’t see why that even has to be asked for.”
Mr Maxwell attended court on Monday with another of the defendant’s siblings, Isabel.
He continued: “The third thing that we have requested is that she be allowed access to counsel when the court has risen.
“What happens at the moment is at the end of the day she is whisked off back to the pending cell, back in the vehicle, back in shackles, driven to the detention centre and sometimes she waits 90 minutes in shackles before she gets back into the facility.
“What we’re asking for is 30 minutes every day when she can speak to counsel, when the jury are not present.
“Again, it’s a pretty basic right of being able to consult outside of the court sitting.
“So those are the three things we have asked for. The buck stops with Merrick Garland.
“He has to make very simple decisions to sort this mess out.
“Our sister has been in pre-trial detention for 522 days. She is in the care of the Department of Justice, if that isn’t an abuse of that word.
“So what we’re asking for is for them to live up to the duty of care they owe an innocent person, who is presumed innocent until a verdict comes in, and we would ask that he intervene right away to sort this mess out.
“It’s simply unacceptable. You wouldn’t want it to happen to your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, or any friend of yours.
“What we’re saying is, enough is enough. This has got to stop.”