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Detroit mayor trial may hinge on few words

July 9, 2008 at 12:55 PM

DETROIT, July 9 (UPI) -- Expanded perjury charges against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick may hinge on a few words in last summer's police whistle-blower trial, legal experts say.

Kilpatrick, 38, was asked under oath on Aug. 29 whether he would "whore around" on his wife. His simple answer of "no" is the only time on the witness stand that he issued anything close to a blanket denial of infidelity, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

The mayor is already facing perjury charges related to his courtroom denial of having sexual relations with former chief of staff Christine Beatty. But Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is attempting to expand charges against Kilpatrick matching up statements from other women who allegedly had extramarital affairs with him against Kilpatrick's brief trial statement.

"Ooh, boy," said Peter Henning, a perjury expert who teaches law at Wayne State University. "The question is ambiguous."

In agreement is Attorney Len Niehoff, who teaches evidence at the University of Michigan Law School.

"The definition of 'whore around' is likely to be a contentious point," he said.

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