Ghislaine Maxwell's Lawyers Claim She Was on IRA Target List as a Child
© AFP 2023 / US District Court for the Southern District of New YorkThis undated trial evidence image obtained December 8, 2021, from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York shows British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and US financier Jeffrey Epstein
© AFP 2023 / US District Court for the Southern District of New York
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December of five counts of sex trafficking and other charges. The US Probation Office has asked for Maxwell to be sentenced to 20 years in jail, but she has pleaded for a shorter sentence of between 51 and 63 months.
Jeffrey Epstein's convicted accomplice was on an IRA hit-list as a child — so her lawyers have claimed in a plea for leniency ahead of her sentencing.
In court submissions Ghislaine Maxwell's legal team told New York Judge Alison Nathan that she was targeted by the Irish republican terrorist group when her father, media tycoon Robert Maxwell, was the British Labour Party MP for Buckingham from 1964 to 1970.
“Decades earlier, when Ms Maxwell was just a child and her father was a Member of Parliament, UK authorities found a hit list of potential targets in a safehouse used by the Irish Republican Army,” the lawyers said. “Ms Maxwell’s name was first on the list.”
Maxwell was convicted in December of five counts of sex trafficking and other charges. The court heard that she groomed underage girls for her boyfriend Epstein, who was convicted of similar offences in 2008. He was later charge with sexual offences against minors, but died in disputed circumstances in 2019 while awaiting trial in prison.
The US Probation Office has asked for Maxwell to be sentenced to 20 years in jail, but she has pleaded for a shorter sentence of between 51 and 63 months.
Other details from Maxwell's court submissions were reported over the weekend, including claims about her "traumatic" childhood.
“She had a difficult, traumatic childhood with an overbearing, narcissistic and demanding father. It made her vulnerable to Epstein, whom she met right after her father’s death,” they said.
19 June 2022, 16:13 GMT
Robert Maxwell, who died in mysterious circumstances in 1991 while cruising on his superyacht Lady Ghislaine off the Canary Islands, was a controversial and shadowy figure.
Born to a Jewish family in the Carpathian Ruthenia region of former Czechoslovakia — now part of Ukraine — he fled the country and joined the Czechoslovak army in exile in France in 1940. He was later transferred to the British army and was decorated for his role in the D-Day Normandy landings.
A BBC documentary alleged that Maxwell got rich running a lucrative black-market operation in post-war Berlin, then worked as a double agent for British intelligence agency MI6 and the Soviet KGB. He was later also linked to Israel's Mossad.
Maxwell persuaded MI6 to bankroll his publishing company Pergamon Press, which in 1984 took over daily newspaper The Mirror. The media tycoon ran up huge debts after a string of failed grand business ventures, and after his death it emerged he had plundered hundreds of millions of pounds from the Mirror Group's staff pension fund.