Closing Arguments in Honolulu Power Couple’s Corruption Case

HONOLULU (CN) – Prosecutors laid out final arguments Tuesday in the closely watched corruption trial of former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

Before a packed audience which spilled over into an adjacent courtroom, Chief Judge Michael Seabright instructed the jury about the conspiracy charges against the Kealohas, which include civil rights violations, obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and obstruction of justice.

The case hinges on the prosecution’s assertion that the Kealohas attempted to frame Katherine’s uncle in the theft of a mailbox. The uncle, Gerald Puana, had sued Katherine claiming she had cheated him out of some $200,000.

“This story neither began nor ended with the theft of a mailbox,” said prosecutor Joseph Orabana during closing remarks. “The motives in this case are greed, to maintain prestige and power.”

During the Orabana’s closing arguments, which lasted into the afternoon, Louis Kealoha sat straight in his chair while Katherine took copious notes, at times vigorously shaking her head.

Defense attorneys began their closing arguments following recess for lunch. Louis Kealoha’s attorney Rustam Barbee characterized the prosecution’s case as a work of imagination, founded on circumstantial evidence, calling the frame-job theory “far-fetched, strange, bizarre, complicated” and lacking in sense.

Katherine Kealoha’s attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, said the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

Two more defense attorneys will speak Wednesday, followed by rebuttals from both sides.


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