Pellicano calls himself 'a lone ranger'

The government failed to prove he's a criminal, he says

Anthony Pellicano was "technically a lone ranger" who went to great lengths as a private investigator to keep the information he gathered secret from everybody, including associates and lawyers.

And that information would have remained secret had the government not searched and seized computers from Pellicano's Sunset Boulevard office in 2002, the former gumshoe told a federal jury during closing arguments.

"Had they not had those seizures and enlisted a brand new FBI employee ... who knew how to find, in simple English, encrypted files, you would have never heard the contents of those conversations" Pellicano said. "These conversations were never intended to be made public."

The former private eye took less than 20 minutes to tell the jury that the government failed over the last eight weeks to prove he led a criminal enterprise and engaged in illegal wiretapping.

"One thing you will not find is that Mr. Pellicano was not a criminal enterprise," he told the jury, referring to himself in the third person as court rules require for those representing themselves. "What he was was a private investigator who sought information."

"If he was a criminal enterprise, then just about every other private investigator is a criminal enterprise, and maybe even some of these journalists out here," he said, gesturing to the audience of reporters and others before Asst. U.S. Atty. Dan Saunders jumped up to object.

As for the hundreds of police and phone company records searches the government presented to the jury over the last eight weeks, he said it was information he already knew prior to the checks.

Jurors were never told what Pellicano learned, if anything, from those searches, he said.

Though the government took all of Tuesday to go over the evidence against Pellicano and his co-defendants during its closing arguments, Pellicano told the jury he would not attempt to sway them or go over the prosecution's arguments point by point.

"Mr. Pellicano has instructed me not to do that, and you know when Mr. Pellicano instructs you to do something, you do it," he said to the giggles of the jury and courtroom watchers. "At the end of the day, you make the right decision and whatever that decision is, he'll respect it."

Outside the courtroom, the former investigator's wife, Kat Pellicano said, "We're all very proud of him."
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