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Interview with Attorney Harvey Levin

Aired June 5, 2003 - 20:16   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Tomorrow could be a big day in the Laci Peterson case. A judge could decide whether to unseal a number of very interesting documents, including autopsy reports on Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, as well search and surveillance information pertaining to her husband Scott who is charged with murder.
David Mattingly is covering the case in Modesto California, and joins us now for an update.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in the last 24 hours a lot of filing in court, nearly 100 page in legal documents being filed leading up to tomorrow's hearings. If two big issues facing the court, wiretaps and gag orders. Early on in the investigation we became very accustomed to the sight of Scott Peterson on his cell phone. We know now, he was on that telephone a lot. Wiretaps intercepted more than 38 hundred of Scott Peterson's phone calls, 69 of them to his attorney. Who knows how many of them to the media.

Those wiretaps, their legality and whether or not reporters will be allowed to find out what was recorded between them and Scott Peterson will be taken up tomorrow in court. The last time we saw Scott Peterson in court the judge raised the issue of whether or not a gag order might be necessary in this case. We now know that the prosecution wants a gag order. We know that Scott Peterson's defense attorneys do not. They say there could be a lot of misinformation going to the public in this case if there is a gag order. They want to be able to go out to reporters and correct any misinformation.

They're finding an unusual ally in this situation, also. Amber Frey says she does not want a gag order. Her attorney, Gloria Allred argue that it may be necessary to defend Amber's reputation as this case winds its way now through the court -- Anderson.

David Mattingly, thanks very much.

For more on the Peterson case and what you might call the legal chess game, join by attorney, and "Celebrity Justice" producer Harvey Levin good to see you.

HARVEY LEVIN, ATTORNEY: Good to see you.

COOPER: Big day tomorrow potentially. Lets about a lot of things, one autopsy reports. You have a bizarre situation where the prosecution is wanting them to be released.

LEVIN: Because the defense really used them to its advantage. I think this really shows that in the public arena, Mark Geragos out classed prosecution. They are blind sighted by what he's done. He's creating or trying to create some kind of doubt, and they're finally opening their eyes saying we have to do something about this.

COOPER: And you have strange situation where the defense, where you know, people are alleging a lot of leaks have come from that side of the bench. They are now arguing against, don't release these autopsy reports.

LEVIN: It's bizarre. They changed role in this case. I think Mark knows what he's doing and he understands how to try a case and how to influence the public, which will eventually become the jury.

COOPER: The gag order, too. A lot of people are saying they don't want a gag order. They don't want a gag order. But it seems increasingly likely, doesn't it?

LEVIN: Ultimately, if these witnesses start getting paid to go on shows and they get tainted the judge is going to look bad. The judge has an opportunity to stop it now. And my guess is he's going to do it. The defense doesn't want that because they know how to play the game better than the prosecutors.

COOPER: But will it stop the leaks?

LEVIN: No, because even if there's a gag order, people talk, people whisper and call and say, don't use my name. It happens. It's going to happen in this stop. It will just be harder to get the information.

COOPER: The wiretaps, how significant and what do you think is going to happen.

LEVIN: I think it's so significant. I cannot believe what the prosecution did in this case. When you read the documents.

COOPER: Because the defense is saying they want the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) thrown out. They want the prosecutors thrown out. They want different prosecutors.

LEVIN: I have to tell you something. I have read this stuff and it is shock that they would have taped 69 phone calls knowing that it's the lawyer. They had the phone number. Why are they going back and forth. They keep listening at 34 second, 39 second intervals when they know it's the lawyer. It's not like they're not going to be talking about the case. They shouldn't have done what they did. They violated state law by not waiting two minutes in between intervals. I think it's pretty shocking that they did this.

COOPER: Prosecutors were saying they were checking to make sure the conversation didn't shift in any way. We are going to see how it plays out tomorrow. LEVIN: You know what, they have to wait two minutes. That's what state law says. They didn't do it. It's a basic rule. And it kind of shocks me.

COOPER: We'll see what the judge decides tomorrow.

Harvey Levin, thank's very much.


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