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Potential witnesses in Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense case wish to testify anonymously, attorney says

By Lauren del Valle, CNN

Potential witnesses in Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense case wish to testify anonymously because they “might get a lot of unwanted attention” testifying on Maxwell’s behalf, attorney Christian Everdell said in court Friday after the government rested its case.

The government has opposed the defense request that three defense witnesses testify by their first names or a pseudonym, according to subsequent court filings.

Maxwell’s attorneys asked Judge Alison Nathan to rule on the issue because the parties couldn’t come to an agreement.

“The Court’s ruling on this issue may impact the willingness of these witnesses to testify, thereby compromising Ms. Maxwell’s right to present her defense, and may affect the witness order,” the defense said in a court filing.

The defense filings did not name the three witnesses or expand on why they wish to testify anonymously.

Three accusers testified under a pseudonym or by their first name in the government’s case — “Jane,” “Kate” and Carolyn — a practice Judge Nathan pointedly said in court is typical for victim-witnesses.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca said in court Friday that the defense would winnow down their list of witnesses because the government cut “a significant number” of anticipated witnesses from its case.

Over the weekend, the defense shared an alphabetical list of 35 witnesses with prosecutors “with no information about the order in which the witnesses would be called,” a government letter says.

Judge Nathan ordered the defense Tuesday morning to share their intended witness order later in the day.

Maxwell’s defense witness list was not disclosed on the public docket.

The defense is expected to begin presenting its case on Thursday. Defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim said in court last week that they expect to rest Maxwell’s defense case the following Monday.

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