By Mark Matsunaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
The prosecution presented its last two witnesses against Hawaiian activist Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele yesterday, then rested its case.
The defense begins calling witnesses this morning in the trial of Kanahele, head of the self-proclaimed Nation of Hawaii, who's charged with harboring a federal fugitive.
Gordon Kaaihue, head of the nation's "peace force," is expected to take the stand today. He is a co-defendant on one of the three charges against Kanahele.
The charges stem from two failed attempts to arrest convicted tax protester Nathan Brown in 1994.
Yesterday, Deputy Marshal Charles Markle testified about a March 16, 1994 incident at Kanahele's Waimanalo home. Markle and Deputy Marshal Lawrence Tice almost caught Brown, but he escaped when Kanahele blocked Tice's entry into the fenced yard.
Honolulu police Sgt. Ryan Borges testified about his July 1987 arrest of Kanahele at Makapuu Lighthouse. Kanahele was the leader of the group of Hawaiians who occupied the former Coast Guard station and were evicted by police and the state.
Kanahele was convicted of terroristic threatening in that case for allegedly pointing a shotgun at Borges and served 14 months in prison. But, by order of District Judge Helen Gillmor, neither the weapon nor the conviction were mentioned during the questioning of Borges.
Kanahele has said the 1987 case convinced him to pledge himself to non-violence as he tries to establish his independent nation, which claims the U.S. and state governments are illegally occupying the Islands.
After Markle testified and the jury was excused, Kanahele hugged Markle, and said, "He, I know, you trying, brah."
And Kanahele clasped Borges' hand at one break in the proceedings.
Having called four witnesses, Assistant U.S. Attorney Les Osborne rested his case after Borges testified.
Kanahele's attorney, Hayden Aluli and Kaaihue's attorney, Sidney Quintal, asked Gillmor to acquit their clients, saying the government had failed to prove their charges.
Gillmor denied the requests.
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