Battle lines drawn as Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins

Ghislaine Maxwell's trial has begun.

There was a morning of legal wrangling over jurors, after weeks of similar wranglings, it took less than an hour and a half for the legal teams to lay down their view of the law. The battle lines were drawn.For the prosecution, Ghislaine Maxwell is the female predator who gave cover to Jeffrey Epstein; facilitating his sexual needs for her own luxury lifestyle; Preying on children as young as 14; offering a female cloak of acceptability to lure them to his ways - to their ways.After more than a year of imprisonment she appeared at ease in court. Reading through the documents, interacting with her legal team, engaging with her defence.Her family have turned to the United Nations to protest the hardship of her prison conditions. There were no obvious signs of the lack of appropriate food, the maggot filled apples of previous complaints, but the screens were small and perhaps unfairly so.For the defence, Maxwell is the woman condemned by the man in her life.Their opening statement a reference to the bible itself: “Ever since Eve was accused of tempting Adam for the apple, women have been blamed for the bad behaviour of men, and women are often villainised and punished more than the men ever are.”

There is plenty of interest in the trial. Credit: PA

That Maxwell is not Epstein is central to their argument. Of course, they are blessed with no reputation to protect - there is no libelling of a dead man.The prosecution is clear this is a woman well aware of the crimes she committed against children.In the overflow court, where we watched on screens, some of those who have fought cases against the pair, peered in for closer view. The sanctity of a court, the safety of a screen a chance to study a women they believe to be the tormentor of their young lives.A jury now has the chance to study that woman and the evidence.Predator for a man who did dreadful harm or patsy for a man who will never face this court himself?