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August 3, 2013

'Whitey' Bulger won't testify, calls trial a sham

(Continued)

Bulger, 83, is on trial in a broad racketeering indictment that accuses him of participating in 19 murders in the 1970s and ‘80s as leader of the Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty.

He fled Boston in 1994 and was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives until he was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

O’Sullivan, who died in 2009, headed the New England Organized Crime Strike Force and was known for his aggressive pursuit of cases against local Mafia leaders, Bulger’s rivals.

Outside the courthouse, Carney said Bulger was describing an agreement he claims he had with O’Sullivan under which “in return for assuring that Jeremiah O’Sullivan would not be killed, O’Sullivan promised him that he would not be prosecuted for as long as O’Sullivan was head of the strike force.”

Carney did not elaborate, but Bulger seemed to be implying that O’Sullivan’s life was in danger because of his pursuit of the Mafia.

After Bulger made his remarks, the defense rested its case.

Prosecutors and Bulger’s lawyers are scheduled to make their closing arguments to the jury Monday. The jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday.

Earlier yesterday, Carney said Bulger wants the $822,000 in cash seized from his Santa Monica apartment to go to relatives of victims who won monetary judgments in lawsuits but then saw those awards overturned by a federal appeals court because the statute of limitations had expired.

It appears that two families fall into that category: Relatives of Michael Donahue and Edward “Brian” Halloran. In 2011, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision that ruled the two families didn’t file their lawsuits against the FBI in time.

Other victims’ families have had their lawsuits tossed before trial and some have won judgments against the government, but Carney specifically cited those whose judgments were thrown out by the 1st Circuit.

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