Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gotti Jury is Hung, Judge Declares Mistrial

Friends of ours: John "Junior" Gotti, Gambino Crime Family

Jurors said they could not agree on verdicts against 41-year-old John A "Junior" Gotti, son of the late head of the powerful Gambino crime family.

Gotti, who has stayed in prison since serving out a sentence for extortion, hugged his lawyers after the decision. The jury did agree on one count - acquitting Gotti of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

US District Judge Shira Scheindlin said she is likely to agree to a request to allow bail for Gotti. "It's my view that the time has come," Ms Scheindlin said in the courtroom. Gotti has already served a five-year sentence on other racketeering charges.

The new charges were brought against him last year before he was due to be released.
One of those who testified against Gotti was Curtis Sliwa, a former radio host and founder of the anti-crime citizens group, the Guardian Angels.

Mr Sliwa says that Gotti ordered him to be attacked in retaliation for comments made about his father on the radio programme. "It's a hung jury, it's a mistrial, it's round two for me, it doesn't mean John 'Junior' Gotti is innocent," Mr Sliwa said. Prosecutors have said they will seek a retrial.

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