Cunningham Briber Won’t Get New Trial

By Justin Rood

Dec 18, 2007 10:30am

A man convicted of bribing former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham won’t get the new trial he requested. U.S. District Court Judge Larry Alan Burns told the lawyer for former defense contractor Brent Wilkes that the leak of Wilkes’ indictment to the media weeks before it was made public did not affect jurors who heard Wilkes’ case. Last month the jury convicted Wilkes on several charges stemming from a bribery scheme in which he showered Cunningham with cash, meals, prostitutes and other gifts. Only four jurors said they had read about the case before hearing it, and none said they were familiar with the accounts which reportedly featured information from the leaked indictment. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. "You’ve been bamboozled. I’ve been bamboozled. Mr. Wilkes has been bamboozled," Wilkes’ lawyer, Mark Geragos, reportedly told the judge. Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 and is serving an eight-year, four-month sentence in federal prison. Cases against two other major figures in the scandal are proceeding slowly. In one, involving former CIA executive director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, Judge Burns is weighing whether to transfer the trial to Virginia because many of the alleged crimes in the case were believed to have been committed there. Wilkes faces prosecution in that case as well. And the sentencing of a Greek-born financier who has admitted to laundering bribes from Wilkes intended for Cunningham is on hold while he reportedly recuperates from an operation. Thomas Kontogiannis had heart surgery last month, just weeks after taking a family vacation to Greece without notifying the judge, as he was required to do by the terms of his release on bond.  Prosecutors have requested the judge give Kontogiannis 10 years in prison; his lawyer has called any incarceration for the reportedly ailing 59-year-old "a death sentence." Do you have a tip for Brian Ross and the Investigative Team?

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