After more than a year delay, the trial of five Navy officers in the Navy’s “Fat Leonard” bribery scandal is set to begin on Monday with the selection of jurors.
The trial, in federal court in San Diego, will be the first in a wide-ranging public prosecution in 2013 with the arrest of Singapore-based military contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, also known as Fat Leonard.
It could be the last.
Twenty-nine people pleaded guilty in the case – most of them Navy officials who admitted to using their positions to support Francis’s business interests in exchange for bribes.
The five officers now due to stand trial are accused of similar corruption: dismantling Francis’ ship information, pushing operations in Southeast Asian ports he controlled and intervening when necessary, according to the 2017 indictment. allegedly bribed with lavish meals, sex parties and vacations.
The indictment names nine officers, but four pleaded guilty before the trial. That leaves David Newland, James Dolan, Bruce Loveless and David Lausman – all former captains – and Cmdr. Mario Herrera.
The trial, overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Janis Samartino, is set to last at least two months and will likely have some tedious moments with so many defendants. Initial statements alone could take several hours – one to two hours for the prosecutor and then again for each defense attorney.
The most anticipated witness will be Francis, who pleaded guilty in 2015 and cooperated with the prosecution. However, the defense seeks to prevent or limit his testimony in the light of a podcast in which Francis made some explosive comments late last year. The judge has not yet ruled on the matter.
The podcaster plans to broadcast new episodes scheduled for the start of the test, informing listeners about the result, including subpoena the creators were forced to adhere.
A lady for sex workers allegedly hired by Francis, a number of experts on various issues and other Navy officials who have already pleaded guilty are also possible witnesses, according to the courts.
One aspect of the wider persecution that has frustrated many people is the number of high-ranking Navy officials who have been involved but not criminally. It remains to be seen whether any of these officers, or even a surprise player, can be inscribed on the witness stand.
Reporter’s Notebook: What to watch for in the upcoming ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery trial Source link Reporter’s Notebook: What to watch for in the upcoming ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery trial