NEW YORK, JUNE 27 -- Adnan Khashoggi's attorney told a federal court jury today that his famous client was on trial for being rich and famous, a charge that came a day after Imelda Marcos's lawyer said she was being prosecuted for being a world-class shopper.
"Let's try him on his lifestyle. Let's try Mr. Khashoggi because he's had a yacht, airplane and a lifestyle we might all like to have," James Linn, who represents the wealthy Saudi financier, said during closing arguments.
Imelda Marcos is charged with racketeering and fraud for helping her late husband, ousted Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, steal more than $200 million from their country's treasury to buy New York real estate and art. He died last September. Khashoggi is charged with fraud and obstruction of justice for allegedly helping the Marcoses conceal their ownership of the property.
"Too many shoes, too much jewelry and having a yacht. What does that have to do with a crime?" Linn asked, referring to Marcos's large collection of shoes and Khashoggi's lavish lifestyle.
On Tuesday, Gerry Spence, Marcos's lawyer, said she was being tried because she was a "world-class shopper."
Linn said the government never proved the Marcoses owned the New York property. Instead, witnesses and documents showed that the real estate was controlled by Gliceria Tantoco, a friend of the Marcoses.
Speaking to the jury in a folksy tone, Linn told the jury that Khashoggi agreed to help Tantoco deal with the managers of the building because "he is an Old-World chivalrous gentleman who could not stand for a woman to be crying on his shoulder."
He said the government had not presented any evidence that his client broke the law.
"It's like little kids making mud pies and throwing them up against the wall to see if they stick," Linn said. "In this case, the evidence did not stick," he said.
During the government's rebuttal, Charles LaBella, assistant U.S. attorney, showed the jury part of the 24 cartons of money the Marcoses brought to Honolulu in 1986. "Use your common sense," he told the jury. "You can't close your eyes to the truth."