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DA Wants More Time In Tyco Case

Nov 21, 2002 | AP

The investigation into Tyco International’s former chief counsel has run into “logistical problems†surrounding documents and witnesses, prosecutors said today.

The investigation into Mark Belnick, charged with falsifying paperwork to receive $14 million in improper loans, is bogged down amid legal questions about the attorney-client privilege, Assistant

District Attorney John Moscow said in court. Belnick’s lawyers are pushing for a trial before the June 1 date set for Dennis Kozlowski, the ex-CEO charged with stealing up to $600 million from the company.

Both Kozlowski and Belnick have pleaded innocent.

Moscow said Belnick’s trial should come after, not before, Kozlowski’s, due to the complexity and size of the ongoing grand jury investigation.

“We are having logistical problems,†said Moscow, noting that his office was sifting through 45,000 pages of e-mails.

Moscow said investigators are also trying to secure testimony from witnesses who have invoked the attorney-client privilege, arguing they cannot discuss their conversations with Belnick because at the time he was working as Tyco’s top lawyer.

“This makes obtaining testimony difficult and time-consuming,†Moscow said.

Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus made no immediate decision on the issue, saying he wanted more information.

Both sides are due back in court next month.

Tyco, which is based in Bermuda, with U.S. offices in Exeter, N.H., has been under fire from shareholders and regulators over charges of improper payments to top executives.

Kozlowski resigned in June before he was indicted on charges of evading New York sales taxes.

Kozlowski also has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with taking $242 million in loans from a program meant to help Tyco employees buy company shares.

Several directors have resigned, amid accusations they knew what Kozlowski was doing and that they also benefited from improper payments.

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