Bulger Says He Has Immunity; Trial Date Pushed To 2013
James “Whitey” Bulger won a delay in his murder and racketeering trial on Monday, and his lawyers revealed for the first time that they’ll try to have all the charges against the Boston mobster dismissed.
Bulger’s attorneys informed the court that they intend to request a hearing to prove that grants of immunity from what they call corrupt FBI officials protect Bulger from prosecution.
“[The motion is] based on the fact that a representative of the federal government promised James Bulger immunity regarding any crimes that he had committed or any crimes that he would commit in the future,” said lawyer J.W. Carney Jr. outside Boston’s federal court.
The immunity claim outraged Steve Davis, whose sister was one of Bulger’s alleged murder victims.
“He’s going to try everything in his power and every avenue he can to stall it or extend it and we’re gonna be the ones to suffer through all that,” Davis said.
To prove their claims, defense lawyers want to call as many as 65 witnesses.
Potential witnesses include former federal prosecutor Richard Stearns — who is the judge assigned to this case, and who the defense says must recuse himself.
Also Monday, a federal judge in Boston delayed the 82-year-old’s trial by about four months.
Carney had asked for a one-year delay, from this November to November 2013. The trial’s new date has been set for March 4, 2013.
The Associated Press adds from the courtroom Monday:
Carney said he needs time to review evidence turned over by prosecutors, including 300,000 pages of documents. He’s said the evidence was unorganized, like a “shuffled deck of cards,” when he received it.
But prosecutors said Carney hasn’t accepted help and prefers to “wallow in confusion.” They said Bulger’s to blame for Carney’s problems by remaining a fugitive for 16 years.
Bulger was caught in California last June.