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The Latest: Ex-police chief won’t testify in his defense

June 18, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a Hawaii corruption trial against a former police chief, his prosecutor wife and current and former officers (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

A retired Honolulu police chief charged in a corruption case won’t be testifying in his defense.

Louis Kealoha rested his case Monday after calling one witness to testify. Co-defendant and police officer Bobby Nguyen’s lawyer is currently presenting his case. It’s not clear whether Louis Kealoha’s wife, Katherine Kealoha, a former deputy city prosecutor, plans to testify.

Prosecutors say the Kealohas abused police resources and conspired to frame a relative for a mailbox theft.

Prosecutors say the Kealohas framed Katherine Kealoha’s uncle to keep him from revealing fraud that funded their lavish lifestyle. Prosecutors say they used a secret police unit to carry out the scheme.

It’s been described as Hawaii’s biggest corruption case.

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11 a.m.

The lawyer who is joining a Hawaii corruption case in the middle of the trial says the former prosecutor accused of framing her uncle called him, asking him to join her legal team.

A judge on Monday allowed Earle Partington to participate in the trial even though Katherine Kealoha already has a taxpayer-funded attorney. Partington says Kealoha called him for help a few days ago and that her family is paying his legal fees. He declined to say how much he’s being paid.

Kealoha and her husband, now-retired Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha, are accused of abusing police resources and framing her uncle to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle. A judge previously appointed taxpayer-funded attorneys for the Kealohas because they said they can’t afford to pay for their defense.

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9:30 a.m.

In the midst of Hawaii’s largest corruption trial, a judge is allowing an additional attorney to represent a former Honolulu prosecutor accused of using her police chief husband’s job to frame her uncle.

Monday marks the 13th day of trial against Katherine and Louis Kealoha and current and former officers. The judge appointed taxpayer-funded lawyers for the Kealohas after reviewing financial records that show they can’t afford lawyers.

Prosecutors say the Kealohas wanted to silence an uncle from revealing fraud the financed their lavish lifestyle.

Katherine Kealoha’s current attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, says co-counsel Earle Partington isn’t taxpayer-funded. She declined to say who is paying for him or if he’s working pro bono. Partington couldn’t immediately be reached for comment while the trial is in session.

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