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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lance and Clemente won't testify at trial

Okay, if you combine this new article from DeVecchio friend and associate Jerry Capeci with the previous article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, it sounds like the net result is that Lance and Clemente can not be called to testify at trial but can be called to testify at a pre-trial hearing on a motion by the defense to exclude evidence based on the fact that Peter Lance wrote a book after reading testimony DeVecchio gave in open court under a grant of immunity. Sounds like a weak argument. What about the news reports? Do those invalidate the case, too? Unless DeVecchio was granted immunity for murder, he's gonna lose the motion.

From the New York Sun:

Prosecutors scored one win when Judge Reichbach agreed that a full-blown hearing was not required on defense charges that the Brooklyn DA's office had improperly obtained its indictment by using testimony for which Mr. DeVecchio had received immunity, until after his trial.

But the judge also set the stage for a major pretrial confrontation between the former agent's defense team and Angela Clemente and Peter Lance, two DeVecchio gadflies whom Mr. Grover has described as part of a "cottage industry of self-styled forensic investigators and journalists" that were used by the district attorney's office to jumpstart its probe.

Ms. Clemente, who describes herself as a forensic analyst, was cited by Mr. Vecchione last year as a driving force behind the DeVecchio indictment. Mr. Lance is an author who claims in a book and on his Web site that he helped the DA's probe. Both have stated they will fight subpoenas from Mr. Grover and cocounsel Mark Bederow that require them to testify about their use of Mr. DeVecchio's immunized testimony in their research and the impact it may have had in the DA's probe.

The judge specifically mentioned Ms. Clemente and Mr. Lance as witnesses he expects to testify at a hearing that is limited to testimony from people who have had involvement in the investigation but will not be called as trial witnesses. The hearing is set for August 8.

Here is that excerpt from the Daily Eagle again:

Before DeVecchio’s trial, defense attorneys will try to have some of the prosecution’s evidence tossed out at a pre-trial hearing set for August 8.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Vecchione, head of the rackets bureau, said the purpose of the hearing is “to determine whether any information was gleaned in various testimony at hearings in which he [DeVecchio] was immunized.”

Vecchione characterized the hearing, which was requested by DeVecchio’s defense attorney Douglas Grover, as “inside baseball,” revolving around arcane legal issues regarding special rules of evidence. The hearing will determine if prosecutors are using any of DeVecchio’s own statements against him, statements he might have made at various federal proceedings for which he had been granted immunity.

Vecchione expressed confidence that the outcome of the hearing would not affect the case against the rogue agent, whose betrayal he has characterized as “one of the worst cases of law enforcement corruption in the history of this country.” Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes called the DeVecchio case “the most stunning example of corruption that I have ever seen.”