Updated: March 10, 2020 06:19 PM
Created: March 10, 2020 04:50 PM
BROOKLYN - Convicted NXIVM leader Keith Raniere wants a new trial. His attorneys filed the paperwork in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday. They're arguing several witnesses lied on the stand during the trial.
In June 2019 Raniere was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking.
The defense claims four witnesses who testified against Raniere repeatedly lied on the stand when they were asked if they planned to file a civil suit in the future. They all testified no, but, a massive lawsuit was filed against Raniere and several other high ranking NXIVM officials in January.
Raniere's attorneys are arguing that the government either knew or should have known that witnesses were lying about their intentions to sue.
The defense believe it should have been evident after two of the witnesses hired the same attorney, Neil Glazer, who was kept "on notice" of proceedings throughout the federal investigation. He's also now representing nearly 80 people in the civil suit against Raniere and other NXIVM leaders.
The defense claims the government also impeded cross-examination by refusing to allow questions about potential civil suits, leaving jurors with misleading information about witnesses' intentions.
Raniere's attorneys said if they were able to properly question the witnesses, the perjury and collusion could have been revealed and jurors could have come to a different verdict.
The defense is arguing witnesses were totally motivated by money. They said witnesses knew if Raniere was convicted in the criminal case it would improve their chances of getting some money in a civil suit.
The suit doesn't specify the amount they're seeking in damages.
Federal prosecutors have three weeks to respond to the document. After that a judge will determine if more information is needed from either the prosecution or the defense before deciding if a new trial will be granted.
Stay tuned to NewsChannel 13 for updates on this story.
Copyright 2020 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company