A U.S. federal judge on Thursday set a September 5 trial date for Joaquin Guzman, the Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo" who is jailed in the United States on drug trafficking and conspiracy charges.
U.S. prosecutors have accused Guzman, 60, of running a global cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine smuggling operation as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, and playing a central role in a decade-long Mexican drug war where more than 100,000 people have died.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan said at Thursday's hearing in Brooklyn federal court that potential jurors would be given a written questionnaire on March 23 to screen them before the trial.
Cogan had ruled on February 5 that the identities of the jurors in the case would be kept secret for their protection. Guzman's lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo, has asked Cogan to reconsider that ruling.
Near the close of Thursday's hearing, Balarezo said that Guzman wanted to address the court directly, in order to tell his family to pay his legal fees. Cogan did not allow Guzman to address the court, but did ask him whether he agreed with Balarezo's statement.