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Traficant's request for papers is denied

By David Skolnick

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

The judge wrote that some evidence requested by Traficant is already in the congressman's possession.
CLEVELAND -- The judge overseeing the criminal case of U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. denied the congressman's request to have the federal government give him certain documents and materials pertaining to his case, because he is not entitled to them.
In a 13-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells wrote Tuesday that the government is under no obligation to turn over the information to the indicted congressman.
What he wanted: Traficant, of Poland, D-17th, was seeking a multitude of materials the judge said he had no right to have including:
UAny requests and applications for authorization to record, monitor or audit him as well as warrants in the case. There were no search warrants, so that item is unavailable and the judge wrote that Traficant made "no showing that he is entitled to [the other] materials and has provided no legal authority that entitles him to them."
UA history of those who will testify against him including their financial statements, tax records, criminal or civil problems. Not only did the judge deny the request, but she said it was too broad.
UPhotographs, videotapes, documents or audiotapes shown to witnesses.
UDetails of promises, consideration or agreements with government witnesses.
UAny evidence that has been destroyed. The judge said there is no proof that any evidence was destroyed.
UThe names of alleged unindicted co-conspirators.
UA witness list.
UGrand jury testimony from potential government witnesses.
Other evidence requested by Traficant does not have to be given to him until his Feb. 4 trial.
Charges: Traficant, 60, faces 10 felony charges including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion. The congressman is not a lawyer but is defending himself.
Judge Wells wrote that some of the evidence requested by Traficant is already in the congressman's possession and there is no reason to require federal prosecutors to give it to him again. That evidence includes 20 videocassettes and 453 audiocassettes as well as statements made by him in the possession of the federal prosecutors.