Ghislaine Maxwell has made a late bit to stop the public release of her testimony in a civil case in the US, her lawyer has said.

A Manhattan judge was told on Wednesday that the British socialite, who is charged with recruiting three girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, gave depositions in 2016 which should be kept sealed.

US District Judge Loretta A Preska last week ordered the public release of the documents by Thursday, but Maxwell’s lawyer Ty Gee told the judge she should reconsider her decision because the documents form the basis of some of the criminal charges lodged against Maxwell.

Gee said Maxwell only answered questions because she thought the depositions could not be obtained by authorities.

The 58-year-old has pleaded not guilty to charges that she procured the girls, including one as young as 14, for Epstein to abuse in London and the United States in the 1990s. She remains at a federal jail in Brooklyn after bail was denied because she is a risk to flee.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said on Tuesday some witnesses in the criminal case against Maxwell may face harassment and intimidation and could be reluctant to cooperate with the government if defence lawyers are allowed to discuss them publicly.

Prosecutors asked a Manhattan federal court judge to stop Maxwell’s lawyers from publicly identifying women who have already spoken about the financier or Maxwell on a public forum.

“The victims of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein have suffered enough,” prosecutors said, urging privacy for accusers except for anyone who acknowledges publicly they are part of the criminal case against Maxwell.

Defence lawyers said on Monday that banning them from publicly identifying alleged victims or potential witnesses in the case will hinder their ability to investigate, prepare witnesses for trial and advocate on Maxwell’s behalf.

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