Thursday, December 09, 2004

What Freedom of the Press?


Reporter Faces Prison Refused To Identify Source Of FBI Tape

12:33 PM EST,
December 9, 2004 Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Television reporter Jim Taricani said Thursday he began dropping hints several months ago to prosecutors regarding the identity of the person who leaked him a secret FBI videotape.

The WJAR journalist made his remarks at a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court, where he faces up to six months in prison for defying a judge's order to reveal the source of the tape.

The FBI tape, which showed former mayoral aide Frank Corrente taking a $1,000 bribe, was part of a corruption probe that ultimately sent city officials, including former Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci to federal prison.

The tape was not supposed to be released as part of an order barring attorneys, investigators and defendants from disseminating materials connected to the probe.

Taricani said Thursday that he had heard that the source, identified by a special prosecutor last week as Providence lawyer Joseph Bevilacqua Jr., had been bragging at a dinner party about leaking the tape to the reporter. Taricani said he provided prosecutors with the names of guests at the dinner party in the hopes that prosecutors would confirm the information on their own.

Taricani, a native of Newington, Conn., said if it was true what Bevilacqua was saying at the party, prosecutors would be learning Bevilacqua's identity through another avenue, one Bevilacqua opened himself.

Bevilacqua, who was the lawyer for former city tax official Joseph Pannone, who pleaded guilty in the corruption scandal, also testified Thursday.

Bevilacqua maintained he never required Taricani to withhold his identity and that Taricani asked him not to come forward.

Taricani denies this.

Special prosecutor Marc DeSisto received permission from the court to call Bevilacqua to testify at Thursday's sentencing hearing to determine if his admission that he leaked the tape, and other testimony he gave under oath, should be factors in the reporter's sentencing.

Taricani has asked U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres for less than 30 days of home confinement because of health concerns. He has a transplanted heart.Around the nation, several reporters face possible fines or jail, including in cases of the leaked identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame and a lawsuit against the government by nuclear physicist Wen Ho Lee. Taricani would be the first to be sentenced to serve time.

The above came from the Hartford Courant website.

Fair use of copyrighted material

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Telling your Attorney to go fuck himself- PRICELESS

A Justice System really has to be corrupt and out of hand for something to actually change

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Can cops rape, rob, beat, and murder with immunity?

Are their unnamed factions in the US, similar to the KKK?

With rogue judges and their minions, police officers, do we really live in a Democracy? (post)

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