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Hale Loses Bid to Halt Trial

Associated Press
Wednesday, April 22, 1998; Page A06

A Supreme Court justice yesterday refused to block Whitewater witness David Hale's trial in Arkansas state court on charges of lying to insurance regulators.

Justice Clarence Thomas denied Hale's emergency request to halt the trial. Hale contended a plea agreement and immunity granted him by federal Whitewater investigators should protect him against state prosecution.

Hale is to go on trial today on charges of filing a false or misleading statement with the state insurance department about an insurance company the state says he owned.

A federal appeals court last week refused to halt his trial.

"This prosecution is in direct violation of the plea and immunity agreement" reached in March 1994 by Hale and then-Whitewater special prosecutor Robert B. Fiske Jr., Hale's lawyers said in papers filed with Thomas.

Hale also contended the state charges were political payback for his cooperation with Fiske's successor, independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr.

Hale's testimony in 1996 helped convict President Clinton's former business partners in the Whitewater land development, James B. and Susan McDougal, and then-Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (D).

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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