Last week, Keith Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, made a request of Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis that he be permitted to schedule a trial for another client on May 6, 2019.
Judge Garaufis, who previously told attorneys in the NXIVM case not to schedule any trials between January 1 and June 30, 2019, has denied Agnifilo’s request. No explanation was given.
Judge Garaufis set a date for opening statements at the trial in the Raniere case for March 18, 2019. The Government said it expects its case to last about four weeks, followed by the defense.
On October 15, Agnifilo appeared before New York State Supreme Court Justice A. Kirke Bardey, in New York County, in the matter of People v. Dilber Kukic. et al.
Agnifilo represents Kukic, a contractor who is charged with manslaughter for his role in a gas explosion in an East Village apartment building that left two dead.
Justice Bardey scheduled the Kukic case to proceed to trial on May 6, 2019. The District Attorney’s Office estimates that the People’s direct case against Kukic will last three months.
The Kukic trial would likely end sometime in August 2019, Agnifilo told Judge Garaufis.
Q: Does this mean this trial will have to start March as currently planned?
A: Not necessarily. It just means that the judge is not going to let any of the defense attorneys schedule any trials between January 1 and June 30th unless/until they ask to have the trial postponed or there’s a new superseding indictment that forces a later trial date.
Once the document dump occurs – and/or once the next superseding indictment is filed – I think the start date for the trial will definitely get pushed back, possibly until next October.
In the meantime, the judge is requiring that the attorneys abide by his original order.
This might make things financially painful for the defense attorneys – who can’t schedule any trials might overlap with the NXIVM trial. And this might also force their other clients to hire other attorneys or have their own trials postponed until the NXIVM trial is over.