NEW YORK (AP) – A U.S. judge gave permission on Wednesday for a psychologist to examine infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman at the New York jail where he’s charged in a drug-trafficking case.
Guzman smiled and waved to his wife and two young daughters in the gallery as he entered a courtroom for a brief pretrial hearing at which the defense sought approval for the examination after months of complaining about strict jail conditions.
“His memory is failing. He’s not remembering things,” defense attorney Eduardo Balarezo said outside court when asked about the condition of his client. “I don’t want it to get to the point where he can’t assist in his defense.”
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan approved the examination but said Guzman would only be able to talk to the psychologist without any physical contact.
Guzman, 60, was transferred to the United States in January and pleaded not guilty to charges that he oversaw the Sinaloa drug cartel, a multibillion-dollar international drug-trafficking operation responsible for murders and kidnappings. In Mexico, he had gained notoriety by twice escaping from prison, the second time in 2015 via a mile-long tunnel dug to the shower in his cell.