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Why early questions from the jury look promising for the defence

Heated back and forth between defence and prosecution

Earlier in the morning, the jurors also asked the court for copies of the testimony of three of the accusers, including Carolyn, Annie Farmer, and “Jane”, so they could review their accounts, in what could be seen as another positive sign for Ms Maxwell. The British socialite looked relaxed and happy at the morning’s developments, and at one point received a shoulder rub from her attorney Bobbi Sternheim.

However, the jury later came back with a third question on whether they could consider the testimony of Ms Farmer, who claims she was massaged naked by Ms Maxwell, in one of the six charges.

There was a heated back and forth between the defence and prosecution on what the judge should instruct them.

Maurene Comey, for the Government, told the judge: “A one-word answer would be correct here. They asked a very simple ‘yes’ ‘no’ question, the answer is ‘yes’.”

Christian Everdell for Ms Maxwell tried, unsuccessfully, to argue that the issue was more complicated. Ms Farmer was one of the prosecution’s most compelling witnesses, whose story has remained consistent over the years.

The jury broke for the day on Tuesday at 5pm after eight hours of deliberation. They will return on Wednesday at 9am local time.

It is usually good for a defendant if a jury takes its time in considerations rather than rushing to judgement. But it also could demonstrate the difficulty the jurors are having in comprehending the charges.

So complex are they that it took the judge one-and-a-half hours to read out the 83 pages of instructions she had for the jury on Monday.

Confusing matters, counts one and three refer to three of the four accusers – Kate, Carolyn and Annie. Counts two and four only refer to “Jane”, while counts five and six refer to Carolyn. British alleged victim “Kate” does not feature in the updated charges because she was aged 17 and was over the age of consent at the time of her allegations.

Counts one through five carry between 5- to 10-year maximum sentences. Count six – the sex-trafficking of an individual under the age of 18 – carries a maximum sentence of 40 years.

The judge also agreed to change the language from “minor” to “individuals under the age of 18”.

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