Lawyers of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman have begun a fresh legal process to halt his extradition to the US, where they fear he may face death penalty. The new appeal comes after a judge rejected a similar request in October and cleared his transfer to the US from Mexico.

Despite the US embassy assuring Mexico that Guzman will not get capital punishment if extradited, his lawyers argued that the assurance was not given by any federal court and thus, is not a full-proof guarantee.

Two fresh appeals were reportedly filed recently against the previous court ruling. Jose Refugio Rodriguez, one of Guzman's attorneys, confirmed that he filed two separate appeals at a higher court. He also said that he would approach the Mexican Supreme Court if need be.

Another defence lawyer, Andres Granados told Agence France Press that a ruling on the new appeal could take between three and six months. He added that they would file another appeal with the Supreme Court.

Guzman headed one of the most violent criminal groups in Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel. He is wanted in Texas and California in connection with drug distribution, murder and money laundering offences. He was jailed for 20 years in Mexico in 1993 for supplying tons of drugs to the US, the BBC reported.

He managed to escape from a maximum security prison in the country twice, but was recaptured in January.

El Chapo
Recaptured Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's lawyers filed two fresh appeals in a bid to half his extradition to the US - File photo Reuters