The highly-anticipated trial against alleged Colombian drug kingpin Henry de Jesús López Londoño, also known as ‘Mi Sangre,’ or My Blood, will begin at the end of October and might last at least six weeks in downtown’s Miami federal, according to an agreement Friday among the presiding judge, the prosecutor and the lead defense lawyer.
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard set the start of the trial for Oct. 30. Assistant U.S. attorney Robert Emery said it would take the government at least four weeks to present evidence and witnesses, and Lopez Londoño’s lead lawyer, Arturo Hernández, said he might need at least two weeks to present his evidence and possible witnesses.
All of these details emerged during the first formal status hearing on the case since López Londoño was extradited from Argentina in November at the request of the United States government. López Londoño, 45, who is in detention, was in the courtroom sitting next to Hernández and his other lawyer, María Domínguez.
Besides the trial date, Emery and Hernández revealed that they have filed motions under seal in the case, but declined to offer details about the filings — though Hernandez said in court that he hopes to decide over the weekend whether to request that they be made public. After the hearing, Hernández told reporters he could not comment on the nature of the motions.
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After López Londoño was arraigned in November, Hernández said he planned to file several motions challenging the “constitutionality” of the case, but later told el Nuevo Herald that he could not reveal details of his strategy.
Also during Thursday’s status hearing, the prosecution advised Lenard about concerns on a potential conflict of interest that Domínguez might have in handling the case.
Although no specific details were given, prosecutors indicated that the conflict of interest concern arose from the fact that another Domínguez client might end up being called as a witness in the case against López Londoño.
Dominguez told Lenard she was “convinced” that there was no conflict of interest because her client had “nothing of value” to offer in the López Londoño case.
After the hearing, Hernandez said he could not comment on the Dominguez issue.
López Londoño made his initial appearance the day after he was extradited from Argentina in mid-November. On Nov. 29, he was arraigned, pleaded not guilty and demanded trial to prove his innocence.