Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sliwa says radio partner 'Judas'

Friends of ours: Junior Gotti, John Gotti

"The Curtis & Kuby Show" played on the radio - and in court - yesterday as Curtis Sliwa called his on-air partner Ron Kuby a "Judas" for testifying on behalf of John A. (Junior) Gotti. Kuby, a lawyer, bolstered Gotti's defense against claims the mobster sent two thugs to beat Sliwa for his on-air attacks against the Dapper Don John Gotti in 1992. Gotti contends that he left the mob in 1998.

"He told me he was sick of this life," Kuby testified. "He wanted this to be over. He wanted to rejoin his family and be done with this." Kuby said the spring 1998 chat occurred while Gotti and dozens of others were under indictment for a loansharking and extortion scheme that involved the Manhattan strip club Scores.

"John Gotti . . . specifically asked me if I would do him a favor," Kuby testified. Gotti, 42, wanted Kuby, then representing co-defendant Stephen Sergio, to approach federal prosecutors and discuss a plea deal for everyone involved.

Outside court, Kuby said he didn't question Gotti further about ending his mob life. "I was functioning as a lawyer, not a priest," he said. "He did not elaborate. I did not ask."

Kuby gave a preview of his testimony on his morning WABC radio show yesterday - prompting Sliwa to call his decade-long radio partner "Judas."

"Curtis, you should have nothing to fear from the truth," Kuby said.

Sliwa was shot near his East Village apartment after he hailed a cab carrying two men prosecutors say were sent by Gotti.

The issue of Gotti's pre-1999 withdrawal from the mob is key because prosecutors must show at least one crime in the long-running conspiracy case occurred within five years of his 2004 indictment.

Gotti's attorneys want to play for jurors a recording of a prison visit with his father that they say will feature the Mafia scion using coded language to say he wants out of the mob.

Thanks to Thomas Zambito

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