Witness Intimidation...

The AP reports that A federal judge told prosecutors to call off the "attack dog" and wait until after John A. Gotti's third racketeering trial is over to force his brother and a close friend to testify before a grand jury.


In a hearing today, Judge Scheindlin closely questioned the prosecutor, Victor Hou, about whether he thought it was appropriate for agents serving subpoenas to make certain comments while serving the subpoenas...

" 'You can thank John Gotti for this,' " Judge Scheindlin echoed. "Do you defend that?"

Mr. Hou responded that he thought it was an "intemperate" thing to say, but probably not illegal.

Judge Scheindlin was skeptical. "Saying to the witness, you know who to blame for this," she insisted. "Whoo! That's almost the government sending out, as I said, an attack dog."

Today's hearing was to consider arguments from Mr. Gotti's lawyers that the government should not be allowed to subpoena people who testified in his defense in his last trial. Mr. Gotti's lawyers contend that the government has issued such subpoenas not in a legitimate search for information that could lead to criminal prosecution, but out of a desire to intimidate Mr. Gotti's witnesses.

His younger brother, Peter, and a close friend, Steven Dobies, have been served with subpoenas to testify before a grand jury, the defense said.

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