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Movie director John McTiernan was released from the minimum-security Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, S.D., Tuesday morning after 328 days of incarceration.
The director of hit films including Predator, Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October served a sentence related to allegations he made false statements to an FBI agent about the number of times he hired private investigator Anthony Pellicano — who remains in prison.
News of his release was announced by his wife, Gail Sistrunk McTiernan, on the Free John McTiernan Facebook page, where a number of his friends and celebrities have spoken out about what they consider his unjust treatment by the federal authorities. Among those who have spoken out and/or “liked” the site are Alec Baldwin, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, director Brad Bird and producer Gale Ann Hurd.
His wife said that her husband would immediately go to his family ranch in Wyoming. He is not expected to make any public statement until after his house arrest ends April 3. He is required to wear an ankle monitor until then.
A spokesperson for McTiernan said that the director is filing a complaint with the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility in an effort to have his felony conviction reversed and erased. She said he believes he was treated unfairly and that the prosecutor and others in the case acted improperly.
The Tuesday statement reads: “McTiernan’s attorney, Hank Hockeimer, said he has told the 9th Circuit Court that his client was in prison ‘not only for a crime he did not commit, but for conduct that simply is not a crime,’ and that ‘Prosecutorial contortions and judicially-created procedural walls have been employed and erected throughout these proceedings to block out a simple fact: an innocent man sits in federal prison.’”
The statement also says: “McTiernan, though incarcerated, has never been given proof of any evidence the government alleged to have against him. McTiernan’s sentence for a false statement was influenced by the allegation of the government that wiretapping occurred on his behalf. This was rebutted by the government’s own key witness who later came forth with a statement that no wiretapping had occurred on behalf of McTiernan and that the evidence the prosecutors claimed was a summary of wiretap calls was something never seen by the witness nor was it from the office the government stated.”
Gail McTiernan wrote on the Facebook page that while she is thrilled her husband has been released she remains “ashamed of my country. Imprisoning people (John is just one of many) for no reason is barbaric. I realize that it is the result of certain bad prosecutors but they are too large in number and have not been removed from the service of our government.… Countless lives are destroyed emotionally and economically – families suffer – marriages fail – children are reared without their parents – older parents die alone and brokenhearted – communities are without its leaders – all to glorify some twisted desire of a prosecutor for recognition or promotion, or worse – some deep-seated need to hurt people.”
She also said she hopes her husband will soon return to making movies.
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