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Ghislaine Maxwell claims private calls with lawyers are being illegally recorded in desperate bid to prove unfair trial

GHISLAINE Maxwell has accused prison guards of taking notes on private conversations with her lawyers and claimed her chances of receiving a fair trial are being undermined.

The British socialite, 58, is currently being held in a New York jail awaiting trial over her alleged involvement in the crimes of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein killed himself in his cell at a separate New York facility in August last year while awaiting trial on charges for the sex trafficking of children.

Maxwell was arrested last month when FBI agents raided a property in New Hampshire and now faces charges of enticement of minors, sex trafficking, and perjury, though denies wrongdoing.

The circumstances of Epstein’s death meant she was initially placed on suicide watch, having to wear paper clothes and sleep on a bare mattress.

Those conditions have now been eased, but she remains in solitary confinement, and in recent court filings her lawyers claimed that she is being held in “uniquely onerous conditions”.

“[Maxwell] continues to be surveilled 24 hours a day by security cameras and by multiple prison guards, many of whom do not appear to be regular MDC personnel,” the filing read.

“These prison guards constantly observe Ms Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defense counsel.”

New York law protects against disclosure of a “confidential communication” between an attorney and his or her client.

The filing continued: “Her cell is [still] searched multiple times a day and she has been forced to undergo numerous body scans.

“It has become apparent that the BOP’s treatment of Ms Maxwell is a reaction to the circumstances surrounding the pretrial detention and death of Mr. Epstein.

“As a result of what occurred with Mr. Epstein, Ms. Maxwell is being treated worse than other similarly situated pretrial detainees.”

The filing added that Maxwell “has never been suicidal and was never diagnosed as exhibiting risk factors for suicide”.

Maxwell’s lawyers applied for bail following her arrest and asked that she be transferred to house arrest, but the request was declined after prosecutors successfully argued that she was an “extreme flight risk”.

The filing also claimed that current conditions were preventing Maxwell from preparing properly for her trial, currently scheduled for July 2021.

Lawyers asked for her to be allowed more time with a computer to study documents related to her case and to be “released to the general population and be granted the privileges given to other pretrial detainees”.

They also requested that the identities of Maxwell’s accusers be revealed.

Maxwell has been accused of taking part in the grooming and abuse of dozens of underage girls by Epstein, but the current charges against her relate to allegations by three alleged victims in particular.

“Maxwell cannot prepare for or receive a fair trial without this information,” the filing said.

US District Judge Alison J Nathan has ordered prosecutors to provide a response to the letter by Thursday.

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