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U.S. retains some jury testimony



Published: Sat, January 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Richard Detore's trial is set for late July.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

CLEVELAND -- The government has withheld for the time being grand jury testimony of J.J. Cafaro and his daughter Capri Cafaro from U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.'s co-defendant, citing tampering concerns.

In a motion filed Friday in U.S. District Court, lawyers for Richard E. Detore of Clifton, Va., ask that the materials be provided now so that his defense can be prepared. Detore was added to Traficant's indictment in October. He is charged with bribery conspiracy.

Court dates: U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells separated the defendants Jan. 3 and reset Detore's trial to July 29. Traficant, of Poland, D-17th, proceeds to trial Feb. 4.

John M. Dowd, Detore's Washington, D.C., lawyer, said that although the government has turned over the grand jury testimony of other individuals, it has withheld the testimony of the Cafaros, Albert Lange and James J. Harney, Detore's former lawyer.

Harney, Dowd said, violated the attorney-client privilege by testifying to confidential discussions.

Aside from Harney, the others named in Dowd's motion have a common link with USAerospace Group in Manassas, Va. J.J. Cafaro owned it, his daughter served as its president and Lange as its chief engineer. Detore had been USAG's chief operating officer.

J.J. Cafaro has pleaded guilty to bribing Traficant for the congressman's influence to promote USAG laser-guidance technology.

Cafaro, of the mall development family, admitted the bribe was nearly $40,000 -- including cash and the purchase of the congressman's houseboat.

Agreement: Traficant, J.J. Cafaro, Lange and Detore agreed to conceal Cafaro's purchase of the boat by making it appear as though Lange bought it, the government said.

In addition to tampering concerns by Traficant, the government believes Judge Wells would be troubled by the disclosure of grand jury testimony to Detore in advance of the same disclosure to the congressman, Dowd said in his motion. Tampering concerns should not apply to Detore, Dowd said.

Dowd assured Judge Wells that he would not disseminate the grand jury testimony he seeks.

Check to USAG: Harney, meanwhile, was asked at the grand jury about a $12,000 check the Cafaro Co. gave to USAG for Walter J. Ellison, Detore said in a statement Dowd filed with his motion. Detore, in his statement, said he gave the check to Capri Cafaro and Harney witnessed it.

The significance of the check wasn't explained in Detore's statement.

Ellison had served as USAG's engineering consultant and was questioned at least three times by the FBI during the Traficant investigation.




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