Another shot for McTiernan

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Director John McTiernan is getting one more chance to prove that his 2006 guilty plea for lying to the feds about the wiretapping abilities of former celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano should be tossed out.

On Wednesday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that Judge Dale Fischer hold a full evidentiary hearing over whether the helmer has a "fair and just reason" to withdraw his guilty plea.

In March 2006, McTiernan signed a plea agreement admitting that he lied to federal investigators about Pellicano, whom the director had hired during a bitter legal battle with producer Chuck Roven over the boxoffice flop "Rollerball."

McTiernan claims he was not informed by his previous attorney that he could have moved to suppress incriminating recordings seized by the government from Pellicano's office. Fischer had ruled that McTiernan simply changed his mind on the plea once he learned that the government intended to put him in prison. (partialdiff)
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