The Chicago Syndicate: Sliwa Bashes Kuby
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sliwa Bashes Kuby

Friends of ours: Junior Gotti

An enraged Curtis Sliwa yesterday lashed out at his radio talk-show partner Ron Kuby for helping John "Junior" Gotti - the man the Guardian Angel founder believes had him kidnapped and nearly killed - get another hung jury. "I don't know if I'm going to be able to go into that studio on Monday without wanting to literally do harm to this guy," Sliwa said of his WABC co-host after Gotti's retrial on racketeering charges was declared a mistrial.

Sliwa, wearing his trademark red Guardian Angels cap and satin jacket, blamed civil-rights lawyer Kuby for convincing at least some jurors that Gotti couldn't be convicted of racketeering, due to the statute of limitations, because he had quit organized crime more than five years before he was indicted.

"My very dear friend, who is a friend no more, didn't even give me a heads-up he would be testifying for my enemy," he said, adding, "It hurt me even more than the three hollow-point bullets and the baseball attack in 1992." Sliwa called Kuby's testimony Gotti's "ace in the hole" and said, "I wouldn't doubt that he's probably at [Gotti's home in] Oyster Bay . . . literally
toasting his friend."

Sliwa said he can't fault the jurors for being unable to agree on whether - or when - Gotti quit the mob. "If I were a juror and saw Ron Kuby willingly coming in and testifying for the guy who ordered the death of his friend and co-worker, I would have my doubts also," he said.

Kuby said he understands Sliwa's distress, but insisted he's not to blame for the hung jury. "He thinks that the Gottis ordered him shot, and I understand Curtis is upset about the statute-of-limitations problem, but that's not my doing," he said. He pointed out that after the first trial, Sliwa "lashed out at the jury, claiming that they had been reached by the Gottis. "This time he lashes out at me," Kuby said. "It's not about him. It's not about me. It's about the strength or weakness of the government's case."

Kuby stressed that "the jury hung the first time, when I had no involvement in the case." He added that Gotti's claim that he was quitting the mob is something he's heard from "every defendant that I have ever had" who pleads guilty, which is what Gotti was doing when he allegedly told Kuby in 1998 that he wanted out of "the life."

"They say they're sick of this life or they want to go home, they're tired of this . . . Whether they ultimately gave up their life of crime or not is something of which I have no knowledge." Kuby also insisted, "I'm not good friends with John Gotti Jr. I'm not even friends with him."

Of his next broadcast with Sliwa, he said, "On Monday, we go in and continue to try to do good radio."

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