Lawyers for former Rep. Otto E. Passman (D-La.) are trying to get his [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] and taking bribes from Tongsun Park trial on charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and taking bribes, moved to Louisania.
The lawyers argued yesterday in motions filed in U.S. District Court in Washington that up to 82 potential defense witnesses, including Gov. Edwin Edwards, are in Louisiana and a Washington trial would be too costly.
"There is no need to financially break a 78-year-old man already broken in body and spirit," Passman's lawyers said.TJustice Department prosecutors asked for a tentative trial date of Sept. 5 and sources said they will oppose inc. in the trial to Louisiana.TPassman is accused of taking $213,000 from Tongsun Park, including $98.000 in alleged bribes, to influence U.S. and South Korean officials to help Park sell U.S. rice to Korea.
The former chairman of the House foreign operations appropriations subcommittee is also charged with evading taxes on $143,000 worth of the payments.
The change of venue was requested of U.S. District Court Judge Barrington D. Parker, who has combined all the charges for one trial and declared Passman competent to stand trial.
Passman's lawyers listed 82 possible defense witnesses, starting with Edwards and three former Louisiana governors, but said they probably will call only 40 to 50.
They said some witnesses will be called because of Passman's "long political involvement in Louisiana" and some will be character witnesses.
Passman's lawyers also said the government plans to call 25 to 30 witnesses against Passman and "far and away the government's star witness will be Tongsun Park."