AUSWR
The Association of U S West Retirees
 

 

 

Nacchio judge limits testimony by victims
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Monday, July 24, 2007

A federal judge has made it difficult for prosecutors to line up victims to testify at former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio's sentencing Friday. U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham, in a ruling Monday, said he would set aside up to 90 minutes for victim statements. He defined a victim as a person who bought Qwest shares on the days Nacchio illegally sold them. That narrows the period to 19 days in April and May 2001.

Nottingham also wrote that prosecutors must coordinate the appearance of victims.

Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado, said the office had no comment on the ruling.

Prosecutors have set up a notice to potential victims at usdoj.gov/usao/co.

Mimi Hull, president of the Association of U S West Retirees, said the retirees sent out an e-mail to members about two weeks ago concerning possible victim statements at Nacchio's sentencing. But she said she doesn't know whether anyone is scheduled to testify.

She said Nottingham's narrow ruling on victim statements was wise, given the likelihood of appeal by Nacchio's defense team.

"I think for the purpose of appeal, he's very smart to do this," Hull said of Nottingham. "You know they're tracking his every breath."

In issuing the ruling, Nottingham rejected a broader definition of a victim.

He also denied the government's motion for the court to establish a procedure for notifying victims.

He said it's up to the government to "identify victims, to notice them and to coordinate their appearance in court," while it's the court's obligation to allow victims to be "reasonably heard" at sentencing.

Nottingham said any victim to be heard will take an oath and present his testimony by answering questions from his attorney.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/tech/article/0,2777,DRMN_23910_5642227,00.html