04/01/02 Traficant Trial Update
- TRAFICANT HAS ROUGH MORNING IN CLEVELAND COURTROOM
CLEVELAND -- Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, was on the losing end of seven rulings this morning by the judge in his trial on charges of bribery, racketeering and obstruction of justice. U.S. District Court Judge Lesley Brooks Wells denied six of Traficant's motions, most of which related to the admissibility of hearsay testimony or certain pieces of evidence. Wells also sided with government prosecutors in barring the testimony of Russell Saadey, a potential defense witness. "Can't she you give guys anything more?" Traficant asked the prosecution after the judge handed down her orders. Traficant said last week that he had a tape of a conversation involving Saadey and paving contractor James Sabatine, in which Sabatine said he did not bribe Traficant. The lawmaker said March 27 that he had destroyed the tape to protect Saadey. The prosecution asked the court to fine Traficant for destroying potential evidence. Wells has not ruled on that motion.
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