Jan. 29 (UPI) -- After federal prosecutors rested their case against accused Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, defense attorneys will put two federal witnesses -- but not Guzman himself -- on the stand before closing arguments start.
Guzman's attorneys will cross examine the two witnesses about statements made by two Colombian brothers accused of trafficking after they were extradited to the United States.
Closing arguments in the high-profile case could begin as early as Wednesday.
Tuesday's questioning follows federal prosecutors officially resting their case Monday after 11 weeks of testimony and 56 witnesses. Government officials have been making their case against Guzman, 61, since November. He's accused of leading the notorious Mexican Sinaloa Cartel and conspiring in drug trafficking, money laundering, murder and other crimes.
Monday, Guzman spoke in court for the first -- and probably only -- time, telling U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan he has decided against taking the witness stand. He said he made the decision on advice from his attorneys.
"My lawyers and I have spoken, and I am going to reserve," he said. "I am not going to testify. ... My lawyers have counseled me, and I agree with them."
Tuesday, defense attorneys are expected to question the federal witnesses on discrepancies in what agents wrote in notes about debriefing them for their court testimony.
Defense attorneys have concentrated on trying to discredit prosecution witnesses, some who are in U.S. custody. Guzman's attorneys said the witnesses were willing to say anything in exchange for lighter sentences for their own crimes.
In a lighter movement Monday, Alejandro Edda, the actor who plays Guzman in the Netflix series Narcos: Brooklyn, appeared in court and caught the attention of accused kingpin.
"My heart was pumping fast," Edda, 34, said of seeing Guzman in person. "My hands were sweaty."
Witnesses have included federal law enforcement agents, former drug dealers and a mistress. Some told the court that Guzman used everything from vehicles, boats and submarines to get drugs into the United States. If convicted of the most serous charge, running a continual criminal enterprise, he faces life in prison.