Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Friday, January 05, 2007

William, Whitey Ireland Photo's Will Seal William Bulger's Fate !!

Hunt for Whitey Bulger still targeting Hub kin
Decision said near on an indictment

By Shelley Murphy, Boston Globe Staff | January 5, 2007

A federal grand jury investigating whether William M. Bulger or his family obstructed efforts to capture his gangster brother, James "Whitey" Bulger , has been extended at least another month, according to two sources familiar with the probe.

Federal prosecutors are nearing a decision on whether there is sufficient evidence to ask the grand jury to indict William Bulger, former president of the Massachusetts Senate and the University of Massachusetts, on perjury or obstruction of justice charges, the sources said.

The investigation is focusing on whether William Bulger, 72, of South Boston, testified truthfully in April 2001 before a federal grand jury that was looking into whether family or friends of the fugitive knew his whereabouts or were helping him evade capture.

The statute of limitations on perjury and obstruction of justice requires that charges be brought within five years, but William Bulger's lawyers agreed to waive the statute to give the grand jury more time to conduct its probe, in hopes that he would be exonerated, sources said. The grand jury has been extended several times since the statute would have expired last April.

Thomas R. Kiley , the lawyer who represents William Bulger, declined to comment yesterday on the investigation. Robert Krekorian, chief of staff for US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan , said, "Obviously we wouldn't confirm nor deny the existence of any grand jury investigation."

William Bulger, who became president of the University of Massachusetts in January 1996, was pressured by Governor Mitt Romney to resign in 2003 after he was publicly grilled about his relationship with his brother by a congressional committee investigating the FBI's mishandling of informants. At the time, Romney said Bulger's answers had often been purposely evasive and that he represented "a cloud" over the university.

Today marks the beginning of Whitey Bulger's 12th year on the run. The longtime FBI informant was warned by his handler, retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., to flee just before his January 1995 federal racketeering indictment. The 77-year-old gangster, one of the FBI's 10 most wanted, is charged with 19 murders. The last confirmed sighting of the fugitive was in London in September 2002, according to the FBI.

William Bulger was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Boston on April 5, 2001, and was granted immunity, meaning that none of his statements could be used against him as long as he told the truth.

According to a transcript obtained by the Globe four years ago, he testified that he had spoken with his brother only once since he became a fugitive, during a pre arranged telephone call he received at the Quincy home of a friend in January 1995 and that he felt no obligation to help authorities catch him.

When asked if he knew whether his younger brother, John "Jack" Bulger , had been in contact with their fugitive brother or his girlfriend, Catherine Greig , William Bulger said, "I have no knowledge of that," according to a transcript of the grand jury testimony obtained by the Globe.

"With respect to your office at the Senate and your office at UMass, do you have any reason to believe that any personnel or staff in any office you've working in since January of 1995 has been contacted in any way by your brother or Catherine Greig?" the prosecutor asked.

"Not that I'm aware of," Bulger responded.

The current grand jury investigation is focusing on whether Bulger gave false testimony to the grand jury in 2001 and, in fact, knew about a 1996 call that Whitey Bulger made to the home of a Senate court officer, while John Bulger and William Bulger's son-in-law were present, according to sources.

In a legal battle that went all the way to the US Supreme Court last year, William Bulger's former law partner, Thomas E. Finnerty , was ordered to testify before the current grand jury about whether Bulger was involved in the earlier alleged plot to thwart the investigation into contacts with his brother, according to sources and court documents.

Finnerty allegedly advised a client, Senate court officer Paul I. Dooley, to lie to a federal grand jury in 1998 about a telephone call he received two years earlier from Whitey Bulger, according to sources and court records.

The FBI knew that either Whitey Bulger or Greig had called Dooley's home because investigators had tracked calling cards used by the couple to make dozens of calls to homes and businesses in the Boston area during the summer and fall of 1996.

However, Dooley lied to the grand jury and didn't disclose that three others were present at his South Boston home for the pre-arranged call: John Bulger, then a clerk magistrate at Boston Juvenile Court; William Bulger's son-in-law, Michael J. Hurley, who was and still is an assistant clerk in the Senate, and Whitey Bulger's associate Kevin J. Weeks, according to sources.

The presence of the others at Dooley's house that day remained a secret from the government until three years ago, even though Weeks became a government witness and John Bulger pleaded guilty in April 2003 to obstruction of justice and perjury for denying he had contact with his fugitive brother or knew about a Florida safe deposit box. He spent six months in prison.

Then in 2003, around the same time federal prosecutors subpoenaed William Bulger's children to testify about possible contacts with the fugitive, Finnerty allegedly advised Dooley to go back to the grand jury and recant his earlier false testimony, according to sources and court records.

When prosecutors tried to force Finnerty to testify, he refused, arguing that attorney-client privilege prohibited him from revealing his conversations with Dooley and William Bulger, who was also a client, according to sources and court records.

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found in July 2005 that an unnamed lawyer, identified by sources as Finnerty, lost his attorney-client privilege for involvement in an effort "to facilitate corruption and frustration of the grand jury inquiry."

The Supreme Court refused a petition by unnamed parties, identified by sources as lawyers for William Bulger, letting the appeals court ruling stand.

Finnerty couldn't be reached for comment. John Bulger declined to comment.

When testifying before the congressional committee in June 2003, William Bulger said he hadn't aided his brother since he became a fugitive. He told the court he had no information that could lead to his brother's arrest.

In the past year, the Bulger Fugitive Task Force has chased leads throughout the world, including in Chicago, Ireland, and California. An unconfirmed tip put him in a San Diego movie theater screening "The Departed" this fall .

Art Hostage comments:

If the FBI have obtained the photographs of William Bulger meeting his brother, James Whitey Bulger in the West of Ireland, taken by British Military Intelligence, then William Bulger could be facing serious charges.

However, if the Brits have not released these photo's and the accompanying intelligence reports about Whitey Bulger in Ireland, the Grand Jury will be deprived of all the evidence.

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