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April 23, 2015

Prosecution expected to rest its case in corruption trial of six ex-Philly officers

The prosecution in the corruption trial of six former Philadelphia police officers is winding down its case, and the government is struggling to put witnesses on the stand, according to

Federal authorities allege the six former city officers - Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman and John Speiser – were involved in a racketeering conspiracy, extortion, robbery, kidnapping and drug dealing, for which they were arrested and charged in July.

On the stand Wednesday in Courtroom 15A was a drug dealer who confessed that he had two different names, reported.
Another drug dealer testifying on behalf of the government who was unsteady on his feet looked and smelled like he may have been drinking his favorite beverage again, Grey Goose Vodka.
The trial, expected from the outset to last about 10 weeks, is moving more quickly than anticipated, and Judge Eduardo C. Robreno announced the prosecution would likely finish making its case on Thursday, the legal news site said, adding there was talk in the courtroom Wednesday that another prosecution witness could be ejected from the case.
The government has already had to drop a couple of witnesses; one drug dealer because he got arrested again, another drug dealer because he got caught lying under oath. So it would be no surprise if a third prosecution witness gets the boot. Since there's a gag order in the case, none of the lawyers can comment.
Defense arguments are expected to begin Friday.

Five of the six former officers could face life sentences for their alleged involvement. They are accused of stealing more than $500,000 in cash, drugs and personal property from drug dealers while they were beating and kidnapping them, and falsifying police records to cover it up.

The defense denies the charges and says they are being framed by drug dealers they arrested and by former fellow Officer Jeffrey Walker, who pleaded guilty to planting evidence and stealing money in a 2013 sting by the FBI, and is now allegedly trying to help himself.

Read about all of Wednesday's courtroom testimony at