BOSTON — Reputed gangster James “Whitey” Bulger lost a bid Monday to force prosecutors to reveal the identity of a confidential informant his lawyers believe could damage the credibility of a key witness against him.
Bulger’s lawyers had hoped to use the informant to challenge the testimony of Kevin Weeks, a former top Bulger aide who is expected to be a star prosecution witness against Bulger at his racketeering trial. His trial is scheduled to begin in June.
Bulger’s lawyers hoped the informant would undercut Weeks’ previous testimony about money he, Bulger and several other men split from a winning lottery ticket in the 1990s.
Judge Denise Casper found there is no “compelling scenario” that the informant’s identity is “essential to a fair determination of the case.” She noted that Bulger is not charged with any crime related to the lottery ticket.
Bulger, 83, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, is charged in connection with 19 killings. He was one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives while on the run for 16 years before his 2011 capture in Santa Monica, Calif.
Weeks has testified previously that the lottery win was legitimate. But two informants told an FBI agent that it was a money laundering scheme. The identity of one of the informants has already been made public.
Bulger’s lawyers argued that prosecutors should reveal the other informant’s identity because the informant is critical to leading to information to cross-examine and undermine the credibility of Weeks.
Bulger’s lawyers did not immediately return calls seeking comment.