Date: 04-08-2008 4:37 AM - Word Count: 356
Eds: Trial set to resume at 8 a.m., Courtroom 890, Roybal Federal
Building, 255 E. Temple St. Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney's Office can be
reached at (213) 894-6947.
By CIARAN McEVOY
City News Service
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Former Walt Disney Company chief Michael Ovitz could
testify as early as today in the criminal racketeering trial of ex-private
investigator Anthony Pellicano.
The 64-year-old Pellicano, who is acting as his own attorney, is charged
with running a criminal enterprise that illegally wiretapped the personal and
legal adversaries of his high-powered clients.
Pellicano and his four co-defendants are collectively facing 107 federal
charges. All five men have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors claim that Pellicano paid co-defendant, ex-LAPD Sgt. Mark
Arneson, to run unauthorized criminal history checks in August 2001 on Ovitz
enemies Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane.
Lourd and Huvane are Ovitz's former underlings at the powerhouse
Creative Artists Agency, which they now run.
Prosecutors also allege that Ovitz hired Pellicano in the spring of 2002
to investigate journalists Anita Busch and Bernard Weinraub, whom he believed
were writing negative stories about him.
Former SBC employee Teresa Wright testified last month that she
unlawfully provided Busch's confidential telephone company information to
retired SBC field technician Rayford Earl Turner.
Prosecutors claim that Turner then gave Busch's information to
Pellicano, who later wiretapped Busch's telephones.
Pellicano, Turner and Arneson are all charged with racketeering and face
up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted on that one count alone.
In June 2002, Pellicano allegedly threatened Busch, who found her car's
windshield shattered, accompanied by a dead fish with a rose in its mouth and a
note that read ``stop.''
Busch also discovered wiretaps on her telephones in November 2002,
prosecutors said. Weinraub also reportedly received threats around this time.
The FBI's investigation into the threats against Busch led to the FBI's
Nov. 21, 2002, raid on Pellicano's Sunset Strip office and his current legal
Ovitz has not been charged with any crime in connection with the threats
Busch has filed a civil lawsuit against Ovitz and others stemming from