Judge in Ghislaine Maxwell trial rules out anonymity for defence witnesses

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Closing addresses due to begin in case in which Ghislaine Maxwell and her mother are charged with abuse of her horses

Judge in Ghislaine Maxwell trial rules out anonymity for defence witnesses

The judge in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial has ruled out anonymity for the defence witnesses, the Victoria Herald reports.

The judge, Peter Kidd, has made the decision after being told by the prosecution that the witness would not testify anonymously, because the public could name the person and give them a criminal record.

Maxwell, who is on trial for the alleged abuse of her horses, is not being identified during the trial.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: animals to give evidence on horse abuse, court told Read more

Defence lawyers argued on Friday that one of the witnesses could not give an unsworn evidence for fear of getting the death penalty in the US.

Some of the horse owners and trainers are likely to give evidence about the treatment of Maxwell’s horses and the level of abuse they suffered at the hands of the former reality TV star.

The prosecution has called more than 100 witnesses in the past four weeks.

On Friday, a bearded Maxwell, who became pregnant after she was released from prison in Queensland, spoke for the first time during the trial.

Maxwell, who was sentenced to jail in 2013, changed her name in a bid to reclaim her family’s heritage. Her mother was her grandfather.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer has previously said it is an “absolute miracle” her client is still alive after being involved in a bank robbery.

On Thursday, when an emotional Maxwell gave her opening address, she admitted she was a “bad mother” and claimed she has been made a scapegoat.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: witnesses will not give an unsworn evidence for fear of death penalty Read more

The court heard that Maxwell was a spoilt child who was raised by her adoptive parents, Jean and Bernard Maxwell, in fear.

The 10 days of trial started last Monday in the Melbourne Magistrates court.

Maxwell allegedly posed as a horse trainer and cowgirl and groomed the animals for The Block contestants Cameron and Ashley McKenzie.

The trial resumes on Monday at 9am.

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