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Pellicano Trial: Anthony Won't Testify In His Own Defense


The day ended with some of the biggest news of the trial, Anthony Pellicano will not testify in his own defense. After what was one of the most tortuous days of the trial with the seemingly endless testimony of defendant Kevin Kachikian, Mr. Pellicano finally livened things up after the jury was excused for the day. As the judge sought to question Mr. Pellicano about whether he'd decided to testify, Mr. Pellicano began what was clearly a prepared speech, carefully announcing that his intention is not to have Mr. Pellicano testify to anything that Mr. Pellicano's clients said. As the judge struggled not to laugh at his repeated use of Mr. Pellicano, Mr. Pellicano attempted to continue his carefully prepared soliloquy, admonishing the judge with a surly "May I finish?" It seems at this point that Mr. Pellicano the lawyer has decided that he doesn't care what happens to Mr. Pellicano the client. Rather, he seemed just incredibly committed to getting a bunch of self-serving, incredibly ironic statements on the record. He calmly asked the judge whether if he were to allow Mr. Pellicano to testify, Mr. Pellicano could limit his testimony to merely those acts committed by Mr. Pellicano. When the judge seemed confused not only by his use of multiple Mr. Pellicano references, but also by his question, he condescendingly asked, "May I be helpful?" Ah, at last, the real Mr. Pellicano surfaces. As the judge looked on with almost stunned amusement, Mr. Pellicano explained his client's position. "Mr. Pellicano's intention would be to describe what he did and that's that." Mr. Pellicano's client would refuse to answer any questions about his clients because of the attorney-client and the newly invented Pellicano investigator-client privilege and he also will not answer any questions about his co-defendants. And, apparently, that's that. He looked over at the other defendants and the press still in the courtroom as if he'd finally explained his position to everyone.

The judge explained that Mr. Pellicano was free to advise his client as he saw fit, but as with the other defendants, she was willing to offer a bit of guidance as to what types of questions she'd allow on cross-examination even if Mr. Pellicano "the defendant" chose to confine his testimony to describe what he did and so on and so forth and to refrain from discussing anything about his co-defendants or his clients. "See the problem I'm having," said Mr. Pellicano, his attention directed towards all the apparently unhelpful defense attorneys in the room, is that "I've had difficulty trying to get someone to tell me what I can and can not do. I got six different opinions." (Now, that's shocking. He got six different opinions from six different lawyers. How unusual. Attorneys are usually so quick to reach a consensus on these types of things--especially ones representing defendants who will so clearly be hosed if Mr. Pellicano opens up his mouth about anything.)

"The thing is, I don't want to cause a mistrial and I don't want to put myself in a position where I hamper my co-defendants' defense," Mr. Pellicano continued, his voice filled with sincerity and sudden respect for his co-defendants in the room, most of whom he'd tape recorded without their consent.

One would figure that neither former Sgt. Arneson or former telephone company worker Ray Turner found Mr. Pellicano's sudden concern about their welfare terribly convincing.

After being informed by the judge that it was likely that any of his testimony would open the door to questions about credibility and his clients and his co-defendants--although she was careful to note that she wasn't giving any legal advice to him--Mr. Pellicano had a bit more to say. "If there is a chance that my testimony can be used by the prosecution to open any doors to my clients, it's not going to happen." Despite the fact that no one in the room seemed to be urging Mr. Pellicano to reconsider his decision, he still felt the need to continue as he was clearly enjoying his moment in the spotlight. It was obvious during the trial that he'd enjoyed making Anita Busch cry and had a bit of fun cross-examining government computer experts, but today, he seemed to finally be his old, swaggering self, making proclamations about what he would and wouldn't do. "I'll go through the different allegations against me," he said as if trying to be cooperative, "my intention is not to have my client testify to anything his clients said." Got it.

The judge again made sure to protect the record, politely asking Mr. Saunders to respond to Mr. Pellicano's comments and asking the prosecutor what sorts of questions he would ask defendant Mr. Pellicano on cross-examination. Looking as if he wanted to reach over at rip Mr. Pellicano tiny chinless head off his increasingly skinny body, Mr. Saunders finally got a chance to try and bait Mr. Pellicano into actually taking the one step that would finally help Mr. Saunders make a real case for conspiracy that included not only Mr. Pellicano and his merry band of small time crooks, but also some of the big guys in town who paid Pellicano to do all that illegal wiretapping. "I intend to question Mr. Pellicano with respect to his clients and his co-defendants," Mr. Saunders replied as popped aggressively out of his chair. "I intend to question him about all the underlying facts regarding his conduct, what he was retained for, who he was retained by and what he did with the information that he ultimately gathered." And, Mr. Saunders added coldly, he'd also be asking questions related to Mr. Pellicano's credibility. As for the issue of privilege, Mr. Saunders couldn't let that rest either, noting that most of Mr. Pellicano's clients in this case had waived their attorney-client privilege (translation--sold Mr. Pellicano down the river), so Mr. Pellicano shouldn't worry about that issue if he decides to testify, it'll be open season on everything that Mr. Pellicano's clients told him. "Let's take the Bo Zenga matter, for example," Mr. Saunders said, his speech becoming more and more clipped and restrained. "Mr. Grey waived his privilege when he testified about retaining Mr. Pellicano and all the work that Mr. Pellicano did for Mr. Grey would be appropriate matter for cross-examination as would Mr. Pellicano's conversations with both Mr. Grey and Mr. Fields." Now, that would be a trial worth watching.... and that might be a trial where some of the powerful people in this town were actually held accountable for what they did to their legal and personal adversaries.

By the time Mr. Saunders finished talking about his dream cross-examination of Mr. Pellicano, the prosecutor was virtually salivating at the thought. The rim of saliva around Mr. Saunders' lips wasn't lost on Mr. Pellicano. "Mr. Pellicano is not going to testify," he solemnly announced to the judge, again seemingly waiting for someone to convince him otherwise. But, not surprisingly, his co-defendants remained silent, choosing to do their dance of joy at a later time.

After the judge again told Mr. Pellicano that it was not her intention to convince him not to testify and Mr. Braun suggested a method by which Mr. Pellicano still might be able to take the stand, Mr. Pellicano coldly dismissed them both.

In a preview of what will probably be part of his closing argument, the man who is accused of causing irreparable harm to so many people, took the moment to give a speech about honor. "My honor and my way of thinking may be different than the prosecutors, Mr. Braun and your honor," Mr. Pellicano said, completely oblivious to the fact that most people wouldn't consider "blackening up people," "blowing up cars," or "wiretapping folks" to be within the attributes of a man obsessed with honor. But alas, this is a man who is obsessed with honor when it comes to certain people--certain rich people who paid him money and who he apparently believed to be his friends. Those people--none of whom have been in the court except to testify against him--are the people that Mr. Pellicano is willing to protect--even if he has to go to prison. As for the other co-defendants, yeah, he's concerned about them too--except for the ones he recorded or the ones he failed to exonerate. But, putting all that aside, this is a man of honor--at least that's what he thinks. "I'm not going to discuss my clients. There are things that the jury should hear, but I'm only concerned with how it affects my co-defendants and my clients if I testify. If there is a hair of a chance that your honor will compel me to answer questions about my clients or my co-defendant, then I can not testify."

"I will allow you to testify," the judge said again, making sure to protect the record of the trial. "I can not promise you that when the government asks to a certain a question, you will not be compelled to answer it." Mr. Pellicano nodded. "I won't put you in that position, your honor," he answered politely. "I'm going to walk in like a man and walk out like a man whether the prosecution respects it or not." And with that, he asked the court's permission to leave the courtroom where he presumably walked back to the jail like a man who wasn't going to testify in his own behalf because he couldn't control the process.

And so the day ended with the promise of more dull testimony from resident computer geek and co-defendant Kevin Kachikian, who no doubt will on the stand talking about something tomorrow that somehow relates to Telesleuth and why the heck he's a defendant in this trial. We're coming close to the end with closing arguments probably about to happen early next week.... STAY TUNED.... IT'S POSSIBLE THAT EVERYBODY'S FAVORITE SELF-PROCLAIMED HONORABLE DEFENDANT WILL BE BACK IN COURT TOMORROW WITH MORE THOUGHTS ON WHY NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CROSS-EXAMINE HIM AFTER HE TESTIFIES. AND THAT, IS THAT.


Read all the coverage from inside the Pellicano courtroom