Pellicano trial postponed until February


A federal wiretapping trial involving private investigator Anthony Pellicano and five co-defendants was postponed to Feb. 27.

U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer on Monday granted a defense motion seeking a delay. One of the defendants, Kevin Kachikian, hired a new attorney and asked for additional time to have the lawyer review the case.

Trial was slated to begin in August.

Prosecutors opposed the motion, arguing defense attorneys have had enough time to prepare for trial.

"While this case is complex, it is not so complex as to require the delay that defendants now seek of a full two years between indictment and trial," prosecutors said in court papers.

Defense attorneys have countered that prosecutors have been slow to turn over evidence -- further stretching a lengthy discovery process. Prosecutors said they have given defense attorneys more than 150,000 pages of documents and more than 450 recorded conversations.

Prosecutors contend in a 111-count criminal indictment handed down in February 2006 that Pellicano illegally wiretapped the phones of Hollywood stars such as Sylvester Stallone and bribed police officers to run the names of more than 60 people, including comedians Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon, through government databases.

The information gathered was used to get dirt for threats, blackmail and in some cases to secure a tactical advantage in litigation, prosecutors alleged.

Pellicano, 63, has pleaded not guilty and remains in federal prison awaiting trial.

Fourteen people have been charged in the case, with seven pleading guilty so far.