Saturday , April 17 2021

The Weinstein trial postponed on September 9 in New York

First publication:

New York (AFP)

The trial of former film producer Harvey Weinstein will be held on September 9, three months later than expected, a judge in New York said on Friday.

The ousted producer, the catalyst of the #MeToo movement, was indicted last year with two sexual assaults – one for rape in 2013 and another for forced compulsion in 2006 – for two different women.

On Friday he attended a hearing, dressed in a black and silent lawsuit against journalists, the 67-year-old Mr. Weinstein, he risks life in the event of a conviction at the end of this trial, which can last for five weeks.

One of the defense lawyers welcomed the delay. "He will give us a lot of time to deepen the case and talk to people who come to tell us many useful things for Mr. Weinstein," said Jose Baez, who took over the case just three months ago. .

The postponement was announced after a four-hour hearing, which was held at the request of lawyers from both sides.

The intention was to decide whether other women could testify to women other than the two women who were the subject of the charge.

Judge James Burke suggested that his decision on this key point could not be announced until the start of the trial.

Since October 2017, more than 80 women publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein, 67, a former head of the prestigious Miramax studio and the Weinstein Company for raping, sexually assaulting or harassing them. Among them, celebrities include Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie or Salma Hayek.

But Mr Weinstein was charged with only two attacks in New York, many of the charges are too old to be prosecuted.

Because of the closed session, we do not know how many of the 80 women the prosecutor wants to call. But their testimony could be decisive.

In April 2018, the testimony of five women who did not complain was decisive in the second trial of former US television star Bill Cosby, who was also accused of repeated sexual assault but tried to get her.

Bill Cosby was found guilty and sentenced to at least three years in prison, the first victory of the #MeToo era.

However, lawyer Jose Baez said after the hearing that "generally", when the prosecution wants to call other women in the bar, "it's good for the defense".

This means that the prosecution "can not prove" the guilt of the defendant with the only defendants who were charged, he said.

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