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Ex-Detroit mayor's lawyers to attack FBI

Sept. 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Kwame Kilpatrick's lawyers intend to impugn the FBI investigation of the former Detroit mayor, the attorney's questioning of potential jurors indicates.

Kilpatrick, his father and an associate are facing trial on federal public corruption charges.

Defense attorney James C. Thomas told a potential juror Friday the defense would show the "powerful government" used the tools at its disposal to go after the defendants and would "challenge the way they did the investigation," The Detroit News reported.

The FBI spent six years investigating Kirkpatrick, his family and his administration. The probe ultimately led to the indictment of the former mayor, his father Bernard, contractor Bobby Ferguson and Victor Mercado, former director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, on racketeering, conspiracy, bribery, extortion, fraud and tax evasion charges alleging they illegally enriched themselves with millions of tax dollars.

So far, 55 potential jurors had been selected for a 66-member pool. Twelve jurors and six alternates are to be impaneled before Thursday's opening statements that will open what is expected to be a four-month trial.

The Detroit Free Press reported the jury pool includes 13 African-Americans and at least a half dozen other minorities.

"It's a lot different than we initially expected," Thomas sai.

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