Federal grand jury indicts McTiernan

Director had withdrawn a guilty plea

A federal grand jury on Friday indicted helmer John McTiernan, who had withdrawn a guilty plea to a charge of lying to federal agents investigating a celebrity wiretapping case.

McTiernan, who directed “Die Hard” and “Predator,” was indicted on two counts of making false statements to the FBI about private investigator Anthony Pellicano and one count of perjury for allegedly lying to a federal judge while trying to withdraw his guilty plea.

His attorney, S. Todd Neal, said the indictment is “really nothing new” and promised to rigorously defend his client.

“The prosecutor has taken one count and tried to expand it into more charges in a new indictment,” he said. “There seems to be retribution because John refused to play ball the way the prosecutors wanted and because we were successful on appeal.”

McTiernan pleaded guilty in 2006 to making “knowingly false” statements to an FBI agent about Pellicano, whom he admitted hiring to wiretap a business associate.

But before he was sentenced, McTiernan asked the judge to withdraw his plea, arguing he didn’t have adequate legal representation, was jet-lagged and under the influence of alcohol when he pleaded guilty.

The judge refused so McTiernan, 58, appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which vacated his four-month sentence and ruled that he was entitled to a hearing on whether he could withdraw his plea.

In February, he was allowed to reverse his plea.

Pellicano was convicted last year of wiretapping film producer Charles Roven for McTiernan and bugging phones of celebrities and others to get information for his clients. He was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

— Associated Press

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