New York (EFE)
The presentation of this witness could take place tomorrow, as discussed by the Prosecution and Defense with Judge Brian Cogan, at the conclusion of today’s session.
This morning, asked about Cogan, García Luna, who is accused of drug trafficking, ruled out appearing as a witness in the trial, invoking his right not to incriminate himself.
The Prosecutor’s Office, which today called its star witness, the drug trafficker Jesús “El Rey” Zambada García, to testify, pointed out that it will still call a few more witnesses, but that it calculates that their testimonies will not last more than an hour.
The star witness in the case of Genaro García Luna
The King, who appeared dressed in a light suit, declared that he had paid 5 million dollars in 2006 to Genaro García Luna, when he directed the Federal Investigation Agency.
According to his testimony, El Rey made two payments, one of 3 million dollars and a second of 2 million dollars at the Los Campos Elíseos restaurant, because it was known that he was going to become Secretary of Public Security and it was convenient to bribe him to continue protecting and assisting the Sinaloa cartel, especially the faction of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, brother of El Rey.
Those payments were made through lawyer Oscar Paredes, who also worked for the Sinaloa cartel, while El Rey waited and watched as the official entered and left the restaurant.
According to his testimony, during the second installment García Luna and El Rey greeted each other briefly, but the lawyer Paredes identified El Rey as a colleague of his and not as El Mayo’s brother.
In his question time, the defense deployed the same strategy against El Rey that it has used against other witnesses.
Thus, he tried to highlight his criminal past, underlining the advantages he has obtained from the US government by collaborating with the Prosecutor’s Office and stressed that it took him more than a year to summon García Luna in his meetings with security agents and prosecutors, while He did name other Mexican officials.
The history of Jesús “El Rey” Zambada García
El Rey, who was sentenced in the United States to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking, was released in 2019 after being sentenced for the time served and after the Prosecutor’s Office sent a letter of recommendation to the judge for his collaboration in the trial against the leader of the Sinaloa cartel Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, in 2018.
In November 2018, during the trial of “El Chapo” for drug trafficking, El Rey already accused García Luna of accepting bribes from the Sinaloa cartel.
In today’s session, the Prosecutor’s Office, led by Saritha Komatireddy, also took advantage of the presence of El Rey to try to shore up testimonies from previous drug traffickers who have linked the former Secretary of Public Security of Mexico to drug trafficking and who have indicated that he collected bribes to defend to the Sinaloa clan.
Also, this Monday his wife Linda Cristina Pereyra, who has accompanied her husband since the start of the process, as well as her son Genaro, attended the hearing.