The Latest: Prosecutor: Cops erasing video is obstruction
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on closing arguments in a corruption trial in Hawaii (all times local):
U.S. prosecutor Joseph Orabona says thirty Honolulu police officers conducted 24-hour surveillance on former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, Gerard Puana, the week she claimed he stole her mailbox in 2013.
Orabona said in closing arguments Tuesday that the act was a corrupt abuse of power.
Orabona said police were tailing Puana even before he was officially identified as a suspect.
Surveillance footage from outside the Kealoha home shows a man hoisting a mailbox into a car.
Orabona says police from a secret unit erased a hard drive and recorded six days of a ceiling at police headquarters. Orabona says that constitutes obstruction.
Puana’s 2014 trial ended in a mistrial after Louis Kealoha provided improper testimony. Prosecutors later dropped the case, and Puana’s public defender turned over evidence to federal authorities.
Closing arguments are underway in a trial that’s been described as Hawaii’s biggest public corruption case.
U.S. prosecutor Joseph Orabona said Tuesday the actions of the defendants, former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her retired police chief husband, Louis Kealoha, show they conspired to frame her uncle.
Prosecutors have said Katherine Kealoha wanted to frame Gerard Puana to keep him from revealing fraud that financed the couple’s lavish lifestyle.
Orabona says greed, manipulation and abuse of power were at the center of the case.
He says the conspiracy consisted of obstruction, lies and depriving Puana of his civil rights.
Attorneys for the Kealohas are expected to deliver their closing arguments later in trhe day.
Closing arguments are set for Tuesday in a trial that’s been described as Hawaii’s biggest public corruption case.
Former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her retired police chief husband, Louis Kealoha, are on trial with current and former officers. Prosecutors say the Kealohas conspired with officers in a secret police unit to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle for stealing their home mailbox.
Prosecutors say she wanted to frame Gerard Puana to keep him from revealing fraud that financed the couple’s lavish lifestyle. Prosecutors say the couple’s motive was to discredit him in a lawsuit he filed claiming Katherine Kealoha stole money from him and her grandmother.
Attorneys for the Kealohas are expected to deliver their closing arguments later Tuesday.