The Pellicano Trial: The Prosecution Rests

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The Pellicano Trial: The Prosecution Rests

Fri Apr 11, 2008 @ 08:40AM PST

Pellicano

Posted by Eriq Gardner

The prosecution rested its case against accused wiretapper Anthony Pellicano, but not before delivering a huge surprise by dropping 28 counts against the defendants. Citing the unavailability of witnesses, the dropped charges involved allegations of wire fraud, identity theft and computer fraud.

But Pellicano and his associates shouldn't rest too easy. Still left on the table are 79 counts and if convicted, Pellicano will face a similar prison sentence as before.

Before wrapping up, the jury heard testimony from Sylvester Stallone's lawyer, Lawrence Nagler, who told jurors that Pellicano bugged Stallone's phone on behalf of Stallone's former business manager, Kenneth Starr, and his lawyer, Bert Fields. At the time, Stallone was suing Starr for mismanaging the actor's investment in Planet Hollywood. Nagler said Pellicano told him that "bad things" would happen if Sly didn't back off his $17 million suit.

Now it's the defendants' turn to save themselves. Who will they call to the stand? Roger Friedman of Fox News says the defense may call Fields. Why? To attribute the blame elsewhere?

"This would leave open the door for the cross-examination of all time by assistant District Attorney Dan Saunders," writes Friedman. "If he blows it, and doesn’t ask Fields the questions everyone’s been dying to hear, the whole case will seem like it was a fishing expedition for nothing."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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