Pellicano case heads to jury

Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:10am EDT
 
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By Leslie Simmons

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After more than 30 days, at least three mistrial hearings and testimony from Hollywood A-listers, jurors in the federal government's wiretapping and racketeering trial against celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano will get the case this week.

Closing arguments are set to begin Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles. The prosecution will be up first to argue to the jury that evidence proves Pellicano and four co-defendants are guilty of being part of a criminal ring that used wiretapping as a way to spy on foes. The defense will argue why they're not guilty. That includes Pellicano, who has represented himself throughout the trial that started April 15.

The jury should get the case by midweek. Pellicano, 63, could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

The trial's witness list included a who's who of Hollywood, including comedians Garry Shandling and Chris Rock, Paramount Pictures chief Brad Grey, and former dealmaker Michael Ovitz. Dirty secrets of the city's rich and famous were front and center in the case.

But titillating details aside, the case boils down to whether Pellicano ran a criminal organization that included a former LAPD sergeant who allegedly ran illegal police checks on hundreds of people for the private eye; a software engineer who developed a program for Pellicano that recorded phone conversations digitally; a client who allegedly helped translate wiretaps; and a former telephone company supervisor who allegedly helped Pellicano set up the illegal wiretaps.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Private detective Anthony Pellicano is shown in this 1993 file photo. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/Files</p>