Bourke Jump

     Chernoff disputed the claim that Bodmer and Farrell got sweetheart deals, saying both were prosecuted, pleaded guilty and will face sentencing regardless of the outcome of Bourke’s trial.
     The fact that Farrell kept no record of his conversation attested to his credibility rather than calling it into question, Chernoff said. After all, it would have been easy for him to have manufactured a diary entry before turning over his journal to the authorities, the prosecutor said.
     “If (the witnesses) were going to take the grave risk of making up a story, why didn’t they do a better job?” Chernoff asked.
     He pointed out that an FBI agent testified that the two men produced corroborating stories independently, without knowing what evidence the government had or was seeking.
     Rebuking the “loaded language” of the defense’s summation, he said the government never urged the witnesses to “get the story straight,” but tried to get from them their best recollections.
     While focusing on Bodmer and Farrell, the defense never successfully called into question the credibility of other witnesses whose testimonies also implicated their client, Chernoff said. Chief among these was Rolf Schmid, a lawyer who wrote a memo corroborating the meeting between Bourke and Bodmer.
     The defense claimed that Schmid, who worked for Bodmer, was “in the thick of the conspiracy,” but Chernoff said they provided no evidence for that assertion. Schmid produced the memorandum in October 2001, two years before anybody was indicted for the bribery scheme. “In a bizarre world where he would (perjure himself), why (would Schmid) do it before there was a hint of litigation?” Chernoff asked.
     Even if one discounted both witnesses’ testimony, Bourke invested his family’s and friends’ money in the scheme after finding out about the illegal arrangement, Chernoff said.
     According to a witness stipulation in a London case against a business colleague, Bourke said he found about the bribery scheme in June 1998 and said he wanted no part of it, yet he invested his family and friends’ money a month later, Chernoff said.
     Concluding his rebuttal, Chernoff reminded jurors about the history of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which Bourke is accused of violating. America “led the world” in passing it to use as a tool against “keeping corrupt officials in power in developing countries,” he said.
     It was the first legislation of its kind in the world, and other countries followed, he said.
     While the defense claimed that Bourke “worried about the Azeri people,” Chernoff argued that his actions proved otherwise.
     He thanked the jurors for their time and care, saying, “It’s been a lengthy trial, but not a close one. … You should find the defendant guilty.”
     Jury deliberations will begin today.

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