The Latest: Lawyer for ex-chief’s wife says case convoluted
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on closing arguments in a corruption trial in Hawaii (all times local):
An attorney representing an ex-Honolulu prosecutor accused of conspiring with her police chief husband to frame her uncle says the case against the couple is complicated and convoluted.
Defense attorney Cynthia Kagiwada says in her closing arguments Tuesday that prosecutors didn’t fulfill promises to present evidence that Katherine and Louis Kealoha conspired to frame Gerard Puana for stealing their home mailbox.
Kagiwada says prosecutors told jurors about texts and phone calls between the Kealohas and their co-defendants who are current and former officers. But she says prosecutors didn’t provide the content of the communication.
She says jurors might not like everything they heard about Katherine Kealoha regarding a family financial dispute. She says that dispute isn’t part of the alleged conspiracy.
Prosecutors say the Kealohas wanted to frame Puana to discredit him in the dispute and keep him from revealing fraud that financed the couple’s lavish lifestyle.
An attorney for former Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha says the government’s corruption case is based on suspicion and speculation.
In his closing arguments Tuesday, attorney Rustam Barbee says Kealoha didn’t lie when he testified at the trial of a man that he and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor, are accused of framing.
Prosecutors say they framed Katherine Kealoha’s uncle for stealing a mailbox as a way to discredit him in his lawsuit claiming she stole money from him and her grandmother.
Barbee says prosecutors have no evidence the mailbox was positioned so it could be easily removed. He says it was improperly assembled.
Barbee says Kealoha wasn’t involved in his wife’s financial dispute with her uncle.
A U.S. prosecutor says 30 Honolulu police officers conducted 24-hour surveillance on the uncle of former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha the week she claimed he stole her mailbox in 2013.
Prosecutor Joseph Orabona said in closing arguments Tuesday at the corruption trial of Kealoha and her retired police chief husband, Louis Kealoha, that the surveillance was an abuse of power.
Orabona said police were tailing Gerard Puana even before he was officially identified as a suspect.
Video footage from outside the Kealoha home shows a man hoisting a mailbox into a car.
Orabona says police from a secret unit erased a hard drive and instead recorded six days of a ceiling at police headquarters. Orabona says that constitutes obstruction.
Puana’s 2014 trial ended in a mistrial after Louis Kealoha provided improper testimony.
Closing arguments are underway in a trial that’s been described as Hawaii’s biggest public corruption case.
U.S. prosecutor Joseph Orabona said Tuesday the actions of the defendants, former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her retired police chief husband, Louis Kealoha, show they conspired to frame her uncle.
Prosecutors have said Katherine Kealoha wanted to frame Gerard Puana to keep him from revealing fraud that financed the couple’s lavish lifestyle.
Orabona says greed, manipulation and abuse of power were at the center of the case.
He says the conspiracy consisted of obstruction, lies and depriving Puana of his civil rights.
Attorneys for the Kealohas are expected to deliver their closing arguments later in trhe day.
Closing arguments are set for Tuesday in a trial that’s been described as Hawaii’s biggest public corruption case.
Former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her retired police chief husband, Louis Kealoha, are on trial with current and former officers. Prosecutors say the Kealohas conspired with officers in a secret police unit to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle for stealing their home mailbox.
Prosecutors say she wanted to frame Gerard Puana to keep him from revealing fraud that financed the couple’s lavish lifestyle. Prosecutors say the couple’s motive was to discredit him in a lawsuit he filed claiming Katherine Kealoha stole money from him and her grandmother.
Attorneys for the Kealohas are expected to deliver their closing arguments later Tuesday.