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Attorneys offer opening statements in LAPD trial
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- As opening statements began Friday in the trial of four police offers charged in a widespread corruption scandal, a prosecutor told jurors the men "conspired to obstruct justice and framed innocent people and covered up their crimes."
Prosecutor Laura Laesecke told the jurors the evidence would lead them to convict the defendants. The 12 jurors and six alternates were attentive and took notes as prosecutors outlined their case. Attorneys for the four officers followed and they portrayed the key informant - disgraced former LAPD Officer Rafael Perez -- as a liar and thief.
Sgt. Edward Ortiz and officers Brian Liddy, Paul Harper and Michael Buchanan are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice. In addition, each officer faces different felony counts, including planting evidence and filing false reports.
Testimony against the officers is expected to come in large part from Perez, who agreed to testify about alleged officer misconduct in the LAPD anti-gang units in exchange for a lenient sentence for stealing six pounds of cocaine from the police evidence locker. Under the plea agreement, Perez could be a free man next year.
The four defendants were the first to be charged in the so-called Rampart scandal, named for the police station at the center of the LAPD's worst scandal.
Appeals court intercedes in LAPD corruption trial
Department of Justice proposed consent decreeRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader
The Los Angeles Police Department
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