Prosecutors: Another Indictment Coming in Hollywood Wiretaps Case
3/2/2006 7:05 PM PT
Expected to be returned before April 18
By GREG RISLING, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
(Mar. 2) -- A prosecutor says at least one more indictment will be filed in a Hollywood wiretapping scandal, but he won't say if it will name more defendants or add allegations.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Saunders said Wednesday he expected the new indictment to be returned before April 18, the tentative trial date for private investigator Anthony Pellicano and seven other defendants. Saunders refused to provide further details.
Pellicano was charged last month with wiretapping the Hollywood stars he was hired to investigate. He used the information for threats and blackmail, according to an indictment unsealed earlier this month. Twelve others also have been charged in the case.
Prominent divorce lawyer Dennis Wasser has been told by authorities that he is a "person of interest" in the case, said his attorney, Vincent Marella.
Authorities have not publicly identified Wasser as a subject in the case. The FBI and U.S. attorney's office declined comment.
Wasser, who has represented actor Tom Cruise and director Steven Spielberg, was on a legal team representing billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian in a child support dispute with his former wife, Lisa Bonder Kerkorian.
Attorney Terry Christensen, who also worked for Kerkorian on the case, has been charged with conspiracy for allegedly paying Pellicano at least $100,000 to illegally listen in on conversations involving Bonder Kerkorian during the 2002 court battle.
Christensen has denied wrongdoing.
Calls left at Wasser's office were not immediately returned.
Prosecutors contend that Pellicano illegally wiretapped the phones of Hollywood stars such as Sylvester Stallone and bribed police officers to run the names of more than 60 people, including comedians Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon, through government databases.
Defense attorneys in the wiretapping case said they haven't seen much of the evidence against their clients. Prosecutors believe it will be at least another month before they can turn over several thousand pages of documents as well as audio files seized from Pellicano's office.
Pellicano and seven other co-defendants previously pleaded not guilty to many of the charges. They entered additional not guilty pleas Wednesday to a revised 112-count indictment.
Pellicano, who is being held without bond, attended the hearing dressed in a green prison jumpsuit and spoke often with his attorney, Steven Gruel.
"Mr. Pellicano wants to get this matter moving and defend himself against the charges," Gruel said.