It’s now up to the jury.
The final two defense attorneys gave their closing arguments Thursday on behalf of their clients Rayford Earl Turner and Abner Nicherie, two of the four co-defendants charged with illegal wiretapping and racketeering along with Anthony Pellicano.
Mona Soo Hoo, who reps former SBC staffer Turner, said the prosecution hadn’t properly investigated Turner and pointed out that Teresa Wright, another former telephone company employee, was the only witness to point a finger at Turner.
Turner allegedly provided Pellicano with confidential information on individuals using phone company databases in exchange for payment.
“The facts were massaged,” Soo Hoo said, and Wright “was willing to say anything to save her own skin. Anything.”
In his own closing, Lawrence Semenza, who reps Nicherie, a former Las Vegas businessman, also used the no-evidence-against-his-client argument. He accused the government of failing to properly investigate Nicherie’s case.
Nicherie allegedly hired Pellicano to wiretap rival Ami Shafrir, but Semenza eagerly pointed out, “Who is Ami Shafrir? Who is the mystery man and where is he? The government has to be precise when someone’s liberty is at stake.”
The government got the last word in the trial before it was turned over to jurors to deliberate on the 78 federal charges facing the five individuals on trial.
In the prosecution’s rebuttal argument, assistant U.S. attorney Daniel Saunders spent 90 minutes stressing to the jury that its case against Pellicano and his alleged cohorts wasn’t about taking down high-profile players in Hollywood but about closing the doors of a “corrupt criminal enterprise.”
Pellicano took 20 minutes during his closing argument.
Many of the prominent names mentioned during the trial, like Brad Grey and Michael Ovitz, were not charged because the statute of limitations had expired for some, while others weren’t big enough players in Pellicano’s overall enterprise, Saunders said.
“This case is not about Hollywood,” he said. “This is a case about corruption, cheating, greed and arrogance and perversion of the justice system, and it just happened to take place in Hollywood.”