El Chapo prosecutors object to defense opening statement

El Chapo prosecutors object to defense opening statement
In this courtroom sketch Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, center, sits next to his defense attorney Eduardo Balazero, left, for opening statements as Guzman's high-security trial gets underway in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Guzman pleaded not guilty to charges that he amassed a multi-billion-dollar fortune smuggling tons of cocaine and other drugs in a vast supply chain that reached New York, New Jersey, Texas and elsewhere north of the border. The infamous Mexican drug lord has been held in solitary confinement since his extradition to the United States early last year. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors at the New York trial of the smuggler known as El Chapo have asked the judge to throw out the defense’s opening statement that accused Mexican presidents of wrongdoing.

The prosecution motion in the case of Joaquin Guzman (wah-KEEN’ gooz-MAHN’) was filed overnight, before the opening statements were set to resume Wednesday.

The defense calls the motion “entirely without merit.”

Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said Tuesday that his client was not the real leader of a cartel that sent tons of cocaine into the U.S.

Lichtman blamed another reputed trafficker who he said evaded capture by paying millions of dollars in bribes to Mexican presidents.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and a spokesman for current President Enrique Pena Nieto vehemently deny the defense’s claims.