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Hunter Biden will not testify in gun trial, says lawyer

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's lawyer, indicated in court on Monday that his client will not testify
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 15:00 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 15:00 IST

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US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden will not testify when his criminal trial resumes on charges he hid his drug use from the government in 2018 to illegally buy a gun, according to CNN.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's lawyer, indicated in court on Monday that his client will not testify, allowing the judge to give the jury an instruction that they should not hold it against Biden that he did not testify in the case.

The instruction will be given later today.

Prosecutors in the first criminal trial of a U.S. president’s child rested their case on Friday after a week of testimony that offered an intimate view of the younger Biden’s years of struggle with alcohol and crack cocaine abuse, which prosecutors say legally precluded him from buying a gun.

Hunter Biden, 54, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges both of lying about his addiction when he filled out a government screening document for the Colt Cobra revolver and of illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

The trial in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, follows another historic first - the May 30 criminal conviction of Donald Trump, the first U.S. president to be found guilty of a felony. Trump is the Republican challenger to Joe Biden, a Democrat, in a Nov. 5 presidential election.

Trump and some of his Republican allies in Congress have alleged the case and three other criminal prosecutions are politically motivated attempts to prevent him from regaining power.

Congressional Democrats cite the Hunter Biden prosecution as evidence that Joe Biden is not using the justice system for political or personal ends.

Last week, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, former girlfriend and sister-in-law testified for the prosecution about his drug use, telling jurors that they often found drugs and paraphernalia in his possession and were concerned at times about his spiraling addiction.

Hunter Biden told the judge overseeing the case at a 2023 hearing that he has been sober since 2019.

Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell told jurors during his opening statement that his client did not intend to deceive because he had been clean when he bought the gun and did not consider himself a drug user at the time.

The defense called three witnesses on Friday, including the gun shop owner and an employee and Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi, who said her father appeared to be doing well when she saw him during the weeks before and after he bought the gun.

The sentencing guidelines for the charges against Biden are 15 to 21 months, but legal experts say defendants in cases similar to his often get shorter sentences and are less likely to be incarcerated if they abide by the terms of their pretrial release.

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Published 10 June 2024, 15:00 IST

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