TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Feds dispute Bulger claim immunity grant includes homicides

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 7:27 p.m.
 

BOSTON — A federal prosecutor told a judge on Wednesday that any immunity agreement reputed gangster James “Whitey” Bulger claims he had with the government would be “void as a matter of law” if it included murder.

Bulger's lawyer argued that only a jury, not a judge, should be allowed to decide if Bulger's immunity claim is valid.

Both sides presented arguments to U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns, who is scheduled to preside at Bulger's trial in June. The former leader of the Winter Hill Gang is accused of participating in 19 murders during the 1970s and '80s.

Bulger, 83, fled Boston in 1994 and was one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives until his capture in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

Bulger claims federal prosecutor Jeremiah O'Sullivan gave him immunity for crimes while Bulger was providing the FBI information on local leaders of his gang's main rivals, the Mafia. O'Sullivan, who died in 2009, denied making an immunity deal with Bulger when he testified before Congress in 2002.

Federal prosecutors asked Stearns to decide the issue before trial. They have previously called Bulger's claim “absurd.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Hafer told the judge that even if Bulger is to be believed, as a matter of law, an assistant U.S. attorney doesn't have the authority to grant anyone immunity to kill Americans.

“Any contract between Mr. O'Sullivan and Mr. Bulger — to the extent it contemplated murder — would be void as a matter of law against public policy,” Hafer said.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Mo. governor adds guardsmen as protests continue
  2. Protest in Cleveland over 12-year-old’s shooting death chokes off traffic
  3. United Mine Workers responds to strike complaint
  4. Ferguson grand jury focused on fatal ‘tussle’
  5. Brown family blasts prosecutor; Wilson speaks
  6. Premiums to rise for Obamacare’s most popular plans
  7. Illegals protected by Obama in line for Social Security, Medicare, other benefits
  8. In IRS ‘rife with scandal,’ staff to receive bonuses
  9. Florida high school prostitution ring busted
  10. Oregon recounts votes on measure to label GMO foods
  11. EPA eyes stringent air quality standards
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.