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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 29, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news, i'm ben boulos, with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk, on pbs in the us and around the world. borisjohnson says 90% of people in intensive care with covid have not had their boosterjab — as cases in the uk hit a pandemic high ofjust over 183 thousand. i think it is worrying seeing so many cases that we know even though it is a small percentage of those people that will become seriously ill, that will be a large number that is still going to be admitted to the hospital over the coming week. as record infections rates are also reported across europe and the us — the world health organisation warns of a huge strain on global health services. i'm highly concerned that omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as delta, is leading
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to a tsunami of cases. the european court of human rights, urges russia to suspend the shutdown of the country's oldest human rights group. prayers and thanksgiving — as south africa holds a week of special events celebrating the life of archbishop desmond tutu. good evening to viewers in the uk and around the world. the uk prime minister borisjohnson has urged everyone in the uk to get their boosterjab. he says 90% of people currently in intensive care beds with covid had not received their third vaccine. new figures show more than 10,000
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people are in hospital in england with covid — the highest number since march. meanwhile, some uk doctors and pharmacists are warning they are running short of covid tests — because of high demand. officials say more are on the way. pressure is coming from a surge in cases — the latest data showing 183—thousand people testing positive for covid in the uk. that's a new daily record but that's partly due to a delay in reporting results over christmas. our health correspondent katherine da costa has more. george winder and his wife nikki are both gps in leeds. he tested positive for covid on a lateral flow device. as a health care worker, his wife tried to book a pcr test, but none were available this morning. for my wife, who could potentially go back into work if her pcr test was negative and she remained symptom—free, that's a huge impact on her surgery. there are only three of them.
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if she is off because she has to isolate, then that's a third of the workforce down, so the real issue not being able to book pcr tests, not getting them in a timely manner and also not being able to get lateral flow tests to help direct us what to do. at some points today, there was no availability on the government website for home pcr kits or walk—in sites in england and northern ireland, and only limited supply in scotland. there's been a surge in demand for lateral flow tests, too. that's led to pharmacists warning that supply�*s not keeping up. they've not had any here since christmas eve. it's not just our pharmacy that's out of stock, it's many, many more pharmacies. some customers are very understanding with it, but some are getting very angry about it as well, saying that, "we've been told we need to test every day, so how are the tests not available?" health officials say they're responding to unprecedented demand, with record numbers of pcr and lateral flows tests being sent out. the advice is to keep trying back on the government website as more are released throughout the day.
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spiralling cases are leading to an increase in hospital admissions in england. the weekly average is up by more than 50% compared to a week ago. the number of people with covid in hospital has risen above 10,000 for the first time in nearly ten months, but there are some signs of optimism. it's quite difficult at the moment to interpret the data. we have very high rates of infection in the community, and therefore we may see some of these people naturally in the hospital as well. but equally, we're not seeing the same rate of admission to intensive care units, and so that could be a positive sign. the prime minister, on a visit to this vaccination centre in milton keynes, was pushing the message for people to get boosted. cases are going up, we've got a lot of cases of 0micron. but on the other hand, we can see the data about the relative mildness of 0micron,
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and what we can also see is the very, very clear effect of getting those jabs, getting those boosters in particular. that's what's making a huge difference. mrjohnson says 90% of covid patients in icu haven't had a booster, but there's still uncertainty over what impact the 0micron variant will have on older age groups as the virus spreads from the young into those who are most at risk of falling seriously ill. i've been speaking about the latest figures to bring you some breaking news. reports say the jury and the sex trafficking case of the british socialite ghislane maxwell, has reached a verdict, she is accused of having procured teenage girls to be abused by herformer having procured teenage girls to be abused by her former partner, the late financier, jeffrey epstein now, miss ghislane maxwell who is 60 years old has pleaded not guilty to the charge is the foreperson of the
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jury the charge is the foreperson of the jury is expected to reach out for a verdict in federal court in manhattan in new york. we will keep across that as soon as we know what that verdict is, we will bring it to you live here on bbc news. returning to the covid situation now. i've been speaking about the latest figures with professor anthony gordon, chair in anaesthesia and critical care at imperial college and consultant in intensive care medicine at st mary's hospital in london. it's a huge number, and i think it is worrying seeing so many cases that we know even though it's a small percentage of those people that will become seriously ill, that will be a large number that's still going to be admitted to hospital over the coming week. it was interesting hearing the prime minister, borisjohnson, speak about the trends in terms of who is being hospitalised, who is getting most ill, and it does seem to be that those who do not have the booster are most at risk. yes, undoubtedly the vaccines work.
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they do prevent infection, they prevent serious illness, so it is crucial people get vaccinated. what we see in intensive care, there is a mix of people completely unvaccinated, so people who haven't had their first dose should get that urgently, and more in older patients or those with underlying conditions, even people with two vaccines have come in so it is crucial to get boosters as well. there was a point made about interpreting hospitalisation numbers interpreting hospitalisation numbers in the uk that we have to be careful about over interpreting them because there will be some people who are admitted with covid, they've come in with some other problem, but they have tested and so they count as being hospitalised with covid, not necessarily being hospitalised because of a severe covid infection. that is certainly true with the
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infection around people coming in with other conditions who have covid and are not ill from covid. that is good news that they are not sick specifically from covid, but it is still a strain on the hospital. these patients cannot be looked after in an open word along with the patient without covid, so this puts a huge strain on the system. they are still important to count, even though it's obviously good news that hopefully they have not got severe covid. ~ ., , hopefully they have not got severe covid. ~ . , , ., ., hopefully they have not got severe covid. ~ . , , . ., 4' covid. what is the situation like where you _ covid. what is the situation like where you work— covid. what is the situation like where you work at _ covid. what is the situation like where you work at st _ covid. what is the situation like where you work at st mary's - covid. what is the situation like where you work at st mary's in | where you work at st mary's in london at the moment because you may think it's typicalfor london at the moment because you may think it's typical for many hospitals to see an increase in the number of hospital admissions. that has come up — number of hospital admissions. twat has come up quite a lot, the number of patients coming into my cu has risen slowly, which is obviously good news, but of course, the challenges of managing with fewer staff who are sick themselves or have to self—isolate some of the system is being challenged and the
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hospital is very busy with other cases as well as covid.- hospital is very busy with other cases as well as covid. some people are talkin: cases as well as covid. some people are talking about _ cases as well as covid. some people are talking about a _ cases as well as covid. some people are talking about a possible - cases as well as covid. some people are talking about a possible peak - are talking about a possible peak already with omicron in london. do you think that sufficiently takes account of the fact that intergenerational mixing, people as we have seen grandparents over christmas, have we not seen the effect of that just yet? t christmas, have we not seen the effect of that just yet?— christmas, have we not seen the effect of that just yet? i think we effect of that 'ust yet? i think we don-t know. — effect of that just yet? i think we don't know. undoubtedly... - lets interrupt that to bring you some breaking news. being from the united states that the british socialite, ghislaine maxwell, has been found guilty of five of the six charges she was facing, a jury has returned guilty verdicts on five of those six counts. just to remind you ghislaine maxwell was facing charges under age girls for the late financier, former partner, jeffrey epstein, and the outcome means that
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she may face up to 70 years in prison. i'm joined now by our correspondent nomia iqbal who's outside the courthouse in manhattan yes, after six orfour yes, after six or four days, yes, after six orfour days, they have returned those verdicts, as he said that, they have found her guilty, calin maxwell —— ghislaine maxwell, on most of the counts. let me go through them. count one, guilty, count to not guilty, and count three to count six guilty. the most serious charge, as he mentioned they are, carries a jail sentence of “p they are, carries a jail sentence of up to a0 years. ijust want to remind people of what the jury had to decide care. they had to decide this, where ghislaine maxwell and jeffrey epstein the billionaire financier, that it convicted sex
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offender who is now dead partners in crime or was she a scapegoat for his crimes? that letter plaintiff certainly what the defence had focused their strategy on. they had said ghislaine maxwell was an innocent woman and that after epstein had killed himself injail two years ago whilst awaiting his own sex trafficking trial, the government had gone after her because they couldn't go after him. they said that she was being used as some sort of proxy through which the accusers of epstein could have their day in court. now, for the prosecution, it was a very different case they presented to the jury. they said regardless of what happened to epstein two years ago, ghislaine maxwell was independently guilty and culpable and therefore worthy of being prosecuted and convicted for her crimes. they say she was not an innocent woman, an innocent bystander as the defence had maintained, that someone who has an employee in and out of his life,
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they say she was integral to the abuse that took place off that they described her in court as a sophisticated and dangerous predator who lured and these very young naive women into this luxurious world that her and jeffrey epstein lived in, and that they were then trapped in this cycle of sexual abuse that lasted for years. the only time that next one did speak in court during the trial and only to the judge was to say that she would not take to the stand to defend herself because she said the government had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. in the last three minutes we have heard from the jury, they have rejected that argument by the defence and have brought back the prosecution case that they believe ghislaine maxwell knowingly did get involved in the crimes that she was accused of, butjust to remind you, she was found not guilty of the
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second count, which was enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. now in terms of the sentencing, she is facing up to a0 years for the most serious charge, she turned 60 on christmas day, so she turned 60 on christmas day, so she is now facing being locked up for the rest of her life. a, she is now facing being locked up for the rest of her life. a reminder to all reviewers _ for the rest of her life. a reminder to all reviewers who _ for the rest of her life. a reminder to all reviewers who are _ for the rest of her life. a reminder to all reviewers who are just - to all reviewers who are just joining us that the breaking news of thejury in new york joining us that the breaking news of the jury in new york finding the british socialite, ghislaine maxwell, guilty and earned a five of the six charges, they found her guilty of having helped the late financier, jeffrey epstein, to sexually abused teenage girls and they found her guilty on four other counts. 0ur correspondent therefore as is covering the trial and has been there the past weeks. there have been many dramatic moments in the trial, but none more so than
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when we heard from ghislaine maxwell's family around the trial that they pledge to be there every day of age because they were worried about her mental health. yes. day of age because they were worried about her mental health.— about her mental health. yes, and the have about her mental health. yes, and they have been, _ about her mental health. yes, and they have been, they _ about her mental health. yes, and they have been, they had - about her mental health. yes, and they have been, they had been - about her mental health. yes, and they have been, they had been inl about her mental health. yes, and i they have been, they had been in the actual courtroom there to support, and when you are in the courtroom, you see that ghislaine maxwell has been very animated throughout the trial. she writes notes, she observes everything and then there are notes that we believe are passed through her attorneys to herfamily. they have been always there fighting for her, they believe, which is her defence, which has been her defence that she is innocent. they say that she is is no longer here to answer for his crimes, jeffrey epstein, and they say that that that women have tried to have their say in court, their day in court, but the
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prosecution they have built their case on the testimony of four women, not all four men gave their names, there's one woman who made her identity public during the trial the other three women went by his pseudonym are their first name, and these charges related, stretch back decades to 200a during that period, and we heard some very extraordinary detail by these women, and they portrayed ghislaine maxwell as this riel chief enabler and all of this. they said that they built the relationship with ghislaine maxwell in which they were then convinced to then have this relationship of jeffrey epstein, that she set up the sexual massages, these massages that went on to be sexual in nature, but just to remind people who are tuning in that colleen maxwell —— ghislaine maxwell, has been found guilty on most of the charges that she was
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facing, six charges in total being found not guilty on a second counts. we are yet to hear what the defence has to say, but we are expecting them to appeal, of course. t them to appeal, of course. i understand there were several moments where journalists and others covering the trial were called back in, not knowing whether the jury had reached a verdict or not, but on several occasions, the jury wanting more details and asking for transcripts and so on to the extent that they were not able to reach a verdict before christmas, they took a break and then resume their deliberations.— a break and then resume their deliberations. that's right. the 'u has deliberations. that's right. the jury has been _ deliberations. that's right. the jury has been asking, - deliberations. that's right. the jury has been asking, had - deliberations. that's right. the| jury has been asking, had asked deliberations. that's right. the i jury has been asking, had asked a lot of questions to the judge can even today, they were asking to see the testimony again of some of the witnesses. asked to see the testimony of all four women at the heart of the prosecution's case. at the start of the become of even asked for office supplies, they asked for office supplies, they asked for office supplies, they asked for highlighters, a whiteboard, so there was a real sense that this jury where it really engaged in all of this, so before
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christmas, they had an opportunity to sit before christmas, but they declined that thing they wanted to go and have their christmas plans, than they would return, even today in court, they asked the judge to clarify if they would have to sit over the new year period and over the weekend. thejudge has been very conscious of two things, first of all, the rise in omicron cases here. they have skyrocketed in new york, and she was worried that someone could fall ale, and of course, if anyone in thejury could fall ale, and of course, if anyone in the jury fell ale, they would have to start bringing in alternate jurors which would mean that declarations would have to start from scratch again. so she was conscious of that thing, but the defence have been very conscious of that, when i was in court earlier, the defence did say to the judge who emphasised that thejury the defence did say to the judge who emphasised that the jury cannot be rushed into a decision and the judge had relayed that to them and they have certainly been engaged and this is a jury that was not going to be rushed in making their decisions.
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they have been thorough, they have taken their time, and as he would expect them to do because of course, they had to deliver the fate of coueen they had to deliver the fate of colleen maxwell, they had to decide what would happen to her, and now, as we know from they have come to their verdict. as we know from they have come to theirverdict. t as we know from they have come to their verdict-— their verdict. i suppose two very different images _ their verdict. i suppose two very different images were _ their verdict. i suppose two very different images were put - their verdict. i suppose two very i different images were put forward their verdict. i suppose two very - different images were put forward of ghislaine maxwell, the prosecution portraying her as sophisticated predator while the defence sought to portray her as a victim ofjeffrey epstein as being kept in the dark and being charged for things that jeffrey epstein did, and as it turns out, the version that the jury agreed with was that of sophisticated predator. that's ri . ht, sophisticated predator. that's right. and _ sophisticated predator. that's right, and it's _ sophisticated predator. that's right, and it's worth _ sophisticated predator. that's - right, and it's worth remembering that colleen maxwell is someone that was well—known before she met epstein commits thought they met in the early 1990s and went on to have this long association that lasted more than 25 years right up until the point when he died, killed
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himself two years ago, she is the daughter of robert maxwell, the disgraced media tycoon, she was largely raised in england, went to oxford university, spoke many fluence languages, she has a uk — usa french passports, and there are so many deep dives that have been done into her and her relationship with jeffrey done into her and her relationship withjeffrey epstein from if done into her and her relationship with jeffrey epstein from if you done into her and her relationship withjeffrey epstein from if you go with jeffrey epstein from if you go online and search, they are so many of them, and what you hear about her and seen all the photos of her that this was a woman who was incredibly sophisticated, incredibly glamourous and she lived this refined lifestyle, and that's coming you know, just the way she looked, very start of unfussy, confident woman, an elegant woman, and the prosecution say this is how she managed to beguile so many young innocent girls who looked up to her and wanted access to that elitist world that she lived in. they also go on to say that all those
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characteristics about her is exactly what attracted jeffrey epstein to her. he may have been rich, but he didn't have access to that socially elevated world that she lived in. he was someone who is ruthlessly ambitious, the story goes, and he wanted to have legitimacy and he wanted to have legitimacy and he wanted nobility amongst those upper classes but lots of money, that is how they have this friendship this is the person who helped induct him into those high circles and he notably infamously was friends with the duke of york, prince andrew, the second son of queen elizabeth, but also the couple went on to rub shoulders with with many high—profile people we talk about powerful people, some of the names were mentioned in court by his former pilot president trump, bill clinton as well. the defence argued that they argued thatjeffrey
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epstein was in his own right at her asthmatic charming man were attracted to him anyway. they tried to portray that he might have had a life with ghislaine maxwell, but he compartmentalised so much of it that there was so much that ghislaine maxwell didn't know about him, that she wasn't aware of what he was doing. that narrative has largely been rejected by the majority today. thank you very much indeed. let's get the background to this case from our correspondent. ghislaine maxwell will now finally pay for her terrible crimes. her victims were robbed ofjustice for decades, but four of them have now put in out intimate sexual predator behind bars. each was from a troubled or cash—strapped home, and the court heard how ghislaine maxwell gained their trust during
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their explicit and emotional testimony, they told the jury how she instructed them to get the late jeffrey epstein massages that turn sexual, all but one, any farmer, testified anonymously, using a saved name are just their first name. jane said maxwell participated in her sexual encounter. i was terrified and failed to grow stand ashamed, when you're ia you have no idea what's going on, she said. kate said after sexual contact with epstein, maxwell asked her if she had fun, saying she was such a good girl and one of his favourites. carolyn said maxwell told her she had a great body for epstein and his friends before touching her breasts. and any farmer, the only victim who publicly identified herself said colleen maxwell gave her unsolicited massage and rubbed her breasts. she said" legal expert said the defence's attack on the women's memories and
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motives didn't help ghislaine maxwell overcome the compelling evidence. she maxwell overcome the compelling evidence. ,, ., maxwell overcome the compelling evidence. ,, . ., ., evidence. she had the disadvantage of havin: evidence. she had the disadvantage of having to — evidence. she had the disadvantage of having to try _ evidence. she had the disadvantage of having to try to _ evidence. she had the disadvantage of having to try to explain _ evidence. she had the disadvantage of having to try to explain away - of having to try to explain away this parade of young girls who wear coming in and out of the home daily and she claimed she knew none of that, that it never happened, and that, that it never happened, and thatis that, that it never happened, and that is very, very difficult for the jurors to credits, and when the jurors to credits, and when the jurors concluded that ghislaine maxwell was a liar, they concluded that she was a predator.— that she was a predator. police raids of jeffrey _ that she was a predator. police raids of jeffrey epstein's - that she was a predator. police j raids of jeffrey epstein's comes raids ofjeffrey epstein's comes those that do �*s jet setting luxurious lifestyle. in this photo, the piercing relaxing at the queens bell moral residents, when prince andrew reportedly invited the couple to the estate. the staggering wealth on display from opulence properties in florida, new york, new mexico and even epstein's own private island, nicknamed little saintjeff, on the highlighted how they use their power together over the years to lure,
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intimidate and silence everyone around them. house rules, including this manual, told staff to be deaf, dumb and blind, for betting them from making eye contact with epstein. t from making eye contact with e stein. ~ , , from making eye contact with e stein. ~' , , . epstein. i think this guilty verdict is meaningful— epstein. i think this guilty verdict is meaningful for— epstein. i think this guilty verdict is meaningful for sexual - epstein. i think this guilty verdict is meaningful for sexual abuse i is meaningful for sexual abuse victims everywhere, no matter who you are, no matter what kind of circles you travelling no matter how much money you have how many years have passed since the sexual abuse, justice is still possible.— justice is still possible. ghislaine maxwell will _ justice is still possible. ghislaine maxwell will be _ justice is still possible. ghislaine maxwell will be sentenced - justice is still possible. ghislaine maxwell will be sentenced at - justice is still possible. ghislaine maxwell will be sentenced at a l justice is still possible. ghislaine i maxwell will be sentenced at a later date, and she still faces a second trial for perjury, date, and she still faces a second trialfor perjury, i charge which she denies. let's remind you of that breaking news within the past half hour, a federaljury in new york has found the british socialite, ghislaine maxwell, guilty of having helped the guilty of having helped the late
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financier, jeffrey epstein, to sexually abused teenage girls and they found her guilty on four other counts. not guilty on one other charge. you are watching bbc news. let's get more analysis of that verdict. we can now speak to lawyer alan dershowitz. this was a much watched trial and after a long set of deliberations spending christmas with a break, suddenly it thatjerry reached a verdict. suddenly it that jerry reached a verdict. ~ . ., suddenly it that jerry reached a verdict. ~ .., ~' suddenly it that jerry reached a verdict. ~ _, ~ .,, verdict. welcome i think the most im ortant verdict. welcome i think the most important thing particularly i verdict. welcome i think the most important thing particularly for i important thing particularly for british people is that the government was very careful who it used as witnesses. it did not use, as a witness, the woman who accused prince andrew, accuse me, accuse
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many other people because the government didn't believe she was telling the truth. in fact, she, virginia dupree was mentioned in the trial is somebody who brought the young people to epstein for him to abuse, so this case does nothing at all to strengthen in any way the case against prince andrew, and indeed it weakens the case of prince andrew considerably because the government was very selective in who ate used. it used on the witnesses who they believed were credible, credible, and they deliberately didn't use the main witness, the woman who started the whole investigation of virginia dupree because ultimately, they didn't believe she was telling the truth. they didn't believe that a jury where the believer and they were right in doing so, so it was smart on the part of the government. find on the part of the government. and et, the on the part of the government. and yet. the various _ on the part of the government. and yet, the various chain, the nh that was portrayed of ghislaine maxwell as a sophisticated predator is the one that the jury have agreed with.
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well, thejury one that the jury have agreed with. well, the jury agreed that she helps. jeffrey epstein and his activities and that question is then whether or not or sentenced as if she were someone who facilitated and helped. the question is who else would be charged, the testimony introduced evidence that other people where guilty and involved. again, virginia, she was alleged by the same women the jury believed to have brought them to jeffrey the same women the jury believed to have brought them tojeffrey epstein knowing that they were under age of getting undressed, having sex with jeffrey epstein in front of them when they were under age in order to encourage them also to have sex with jeffrey epstein. so i think the next question is when will virginia be indicted and charged rather than her
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accusing people like prince andrew and myself and barack and george michelle and dozens of other people who she has accused. the next question is who else will be charged for facilitating jeffrey epstein's misconduct? just for facilitating jeffrey epstein's misconduct?— for facilitating jeffrey epstein's misconduct? , ., misconduct? just returning to the issue of the _ misconduct? just returning to the issue of the guilty _ misconduct? just returning to the issue of the guilty verdict - misconduct? just returning to the issue of the guilty verdict where l issue of the guilty verdict where you expect the sentencing on the spectrum of prison terms that are available to the judge. t spectrum of prison terms that are available to the judge.— available to the 'udge. i think she will aet a available to the judge. i think she will get a substantial _ available to the judge. i think she will get a substantial prison i available to the judge. i think she will get a substantial prison term | will get a substantial prison term because she was convicted on five counts, and the guidelines provide a fairly high sentencing. so it will certainly be in the double figures. it wont be five or six years, most likely it will be in the teens. she will get credit, of course, for the
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time she has already served. i don't think she is going to get 30—a0 years, that would be utterly inconsistent with web prior sentences have been in comparable cases, but i think she probably can expect a significant sentence. she will also appeal, obviously, she will also appeal, obviously, she will not get bail pending appeal, but she will appeal, within months or so, threejudges will but she will appeal, within months or so, three judges will decide whether the trial was fair. the fact that the jury stayed out to solon and did distinguish counts five yes and will make it a little bit more appealing for her to sexily appeal. —— successfully appeal. we appealing for her to sexily appeal. -- successfully appeal. we believe it there. thank _ -- successfully appeal. we believe it there. thank you _ -- successfully appeal. we believe it there. thank you very _ -- successfully appeal. we believe it there. thank you very much i -- successfully appeal. we believe i it there. thank you very much indeed for speaking to us. we can speak now to nigel cawthorne, author of prince andrew: epstein, maxwell and the palace. what do you make of the outcome of this trial? tt’s what do you make of the outcome of this trial? �* , ., , ., this trial? it's really not surprising- _ this trial? it's really not surprising. obviously i this trial? it's really notl surprising. obviously the this trial? it's really not i surprising. obviously the jury this trial? it's really not _ surprising. obviously the jury took a long time because they were really technical matters involved in the
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six various charges here, but it was pretty clear from the beginning that the one thing we did know was that jeffrey epstein was involved in having sex with underage women, he admitted it back in 2005 in a terminal case back then, and ghislaine maxwell was around him at that time, so she must have known what was going on. so she would have been... and thejudge been... and the judge already pointed out to the jury at the very beginning that that made her, would have made are culpable if she had willfully ignored what was going on. and in terms of what came to light during the evidence we heard in this trial of ghislaine maxwell, did we learn anything new about what had happened between jeffrey learn anything new about what had happened betweenjeffrey epstein and his victims? hat

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