The Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo" has promised that he will not harm any jurors at his forthcoming trial in the US.
The drug baron, whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán, was extradited to the US in 2017 and will now stand trial in New York, where he faces charges of drug smuggling and money laundering, while the prosecution will also demand he forfeits $14bn as the illegal proceeds of his narcotics trafficking.
According to court documents, Guzmán was the leading figure of the powerful Sinaloa cartel and masterminded two daredevil escapes from Mexican maximum security prisons.
"He was able to arrange the construction of a tunnel into his prison cell in order to escape," the prosecutors said, adding even inmates not directly related to the cartel had been willing to help Guzmán escape.
The 60-year-old, whose life is depicted in the Netflix TV series "El Chapo", has in the past reportedly instructed hitmen to silence informants and potential witnesses.
Guzmán's famed long reach has prompted the prosecution to demand the trial be heard by an anonymous and partially sequestered jury, to be protected by an armed guard.
"The defendant has demonstrated the ability to bring substantial resources to bear, even while confined, in his efforts to subvert justice," court filings submitted showed.
However, the drug kingpin's lawyers have submitted a motion to have the request dismissed, suggesting it would "create the extremely unfair impression that he is a dangerous person from whom the jury must be protected".
They argued that every instance in which their client allegedly harmed witnesses or members of the jury took place in Mexico, suggesting he would not be capable to do so in the US.
"Every example of Mr Guzmán's purported ability to 'harm the jury' is believed to have taken place in Mexico, not the United States and certainly not in this district," court papers stated.
"Unlike 'mafia' cases, where the alleged criminal organisation is local and has an actual ability to harm jurors, Mr Guzmán's alleged structure — if any — was located in Mexico."
Guzmán's lawyers also sought to dismiss a video released by prisoners in a federal prison in California, in which inmates appear to pledge loyalty to the Mexican drug lord.
"Everything is ready for you," prisoners are shown proclaiming in a short video released after his extradition.
"What you say is the law. Here you have more than 3,500 soldiers."
However, the defence team suggested the video was simply "a joke in poor taste".
The trial led by Judge Brian Cogan is yet to rule on the motion.