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Real-life 'Brasco' refuses to testify

Oct. 16, 2008 at 12:57 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A former FBI agent whose actions were the focus of the Hollywood film "Donnie Brasco" says he will not testify in a homicide case in Miami.

Joe Pistone, whose undercover actions in the Mafia influenced the 1997 film, refused to offer testimony this week in the homicide trial of a fellow former FBI agent, John Connolly, The Miami Herald said Thursday.

Pistone had initially offered to testify in the case regarding the difficulties of prosecuting organized crime members, but changed his mind after the presiding judge would not bar the media from the case.

Unidentified lawyers said Pistone was concerned that media coverage could be dangerous for him as he is concerned the Mafia is still seeking his death.

Pistone went undercover in the Mafia under the name Donnie Brasco during the 1970s and helped convict more than 100 organized crime members.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in Connolly's ongoing case have alleged that the Connolly leaked vital information to the Mafia that led to the death of a gambling executive in Miami in 1982, the Herald reported.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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