Judge Juan Manuel Merchan, a former prosecutor with 16 years of experience on the bench, is set to preside over the arraignment of former US President Donald Trump on charges related to hush-money payments made during his 2016 campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters. Trump has called the case a “political persecution” and claimed that Merchan “hates” him. The case is expected to be a legacy-shaping one for any jurist, with the need for balance between openness and courtroom security for the former president and others being a logistical nightmare. Merchan is a Colombian-born judge who emigrated to the US at the age of six and grew up in New York City. He has previously handled high-profile cases, including the tax fraud case against Trump’s company and its finance chief, Allen Weisselberg.