El Chapo prosecutors object to defense opening statement

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors at the New York trial of the smuggler known as El Chapo have asked the judge to throw out the defense’s opening statement that accused Mexican presidents of wrongdoing.

The prosecution motion in the case of Joaquin Guzman (wah-KEEN’ gooz-MAHN’) was filed overnight, before the opening statements were set to resume Wednesday.

The defense calls the motion “entirely without merit.”

Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said Tuesday that his client was not the real leader of a cartel that sent tons of cocaine into the U.S.

Lichtman blamed another reputed trafficker who he said evaded capture by paying millions of dollars in bribes to Mexican presidents.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and a spokesman for current President Enrique Pena Nieto vehemently deny the defense’s claims.