Hollywood private eye wants to defend himself in wiretap case

Imprisoned private investigator Anthony Pellicano said Monday he wants to defend himself against charges that he orchestrated an illegal wiretapping scheme targeting Hollywood celebrities and executives.

During a court hearing, Pellicano spoke at length for the first time since he was indicted last month. He said he wanted to know the results of the U.S. government's 3Ѕ-year investigation into his activities.

"I have a lot of questions to see what they have been doing all this time," Pellicano told U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer. "I'm best suited to represent myself."

Pellicano was shackled and wore a prison-issued green windbreaker and blue pants. He previously pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors contend that Pellicano illegally wiretapped the phones of Hollywood stars such as Sylvester Stallone and bribed police officers to run the names of more than 60 people, including comedians Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon, through government databases.

Pellicano allegedly sought damaging information on his clients' rivals. He then used the details for threats, blackmail and in some cases to secure an advantage in court for his clients, according to a 112-count indictment.

A total of 13 people have been charged in the case. Four have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including wire fraud and conspiracy.

Pellicano said he does not have any problems with his attorney, Steven Gruel. Outside court, Gruel said his client simply "wants to go to trial as soon as possible."

Gruel will continue to be Pellicano's attorney until the judge decides whether the shamus is competent to represent himself, reports AP.

O.Ch.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team