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October 27, 2007


Wilkes case was the only one heard by the courts on Friday. I think it may have caught others by surprise too. SDUT posted the AP report instead of an article by their own court reporter. It is really lucky for us that Seth showed up.

Whoops- Greg Moran does have an article in this morning's paper although I did not yet find it in SDUT's online page. Moran said that Wilkes "spoke in firm tones and offered explanations for nearly every charge prosecutors have leveled."

there's a bit more...

"The second transaction involved a $525,000 payment to a company controlled by Thomas Kontogiannis, a friend of Cunningham's. The government has tried to prove that the money was a bribe that was laundered so Cunningham could pay off a mortgage to his Rancho Santa Fe estate in spring 2004.
Wilkes, however, said the money was an investment that Cunningham suggested he make to get a short-term 9 percent interest return. He said he asked Cunningham if the congressman had any interest in the transaction and was told no. A few months later, Wilkes wrote a letter asking for the money back from the firm but never received it."

Thank you chrisc and ew. Wilkes won the jury over after Geragos gave him the opening, the prosecutor was off-balance and unprepared. If you're Geragos, do you rest now or are there other elements of the prosecution's case he must counter?

Well Neil, that is a pretty astute question actually. It is pretty rare that you would put your client, the defendant, on the stand early in the defense case for exactly what you alluded to. For one, once he has taken the stand, he has waived the 5th and is subject to further testimony. This can be problematic if your other defense witnesses give testimony that you need to counter with the defendant, but his testimony is already somewhat locked in by him having taken the stand early. You want the defendant, if he is to testify, to wrap all the loose ends and really paint the picture of innocence; can't do that if the loose ends are not out on the record yet. Looks like another stunt to me; Geragos may have given the prosecution a small lemon with this surprise, but my guess is they will make some good lemonade with it before all is said and done. I think the defense knows they are screwed and just shot the only little wad they had.

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