By Linda Hosek
The attorney for sovereignty activist Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele will not be allowed to claim that federal officials vindictively pursued his client as the trial for Kanahele proceeds.
Hayden Aluli, Kanahele's attorney, said he wanted to use "vindictive prosecution" as a defense theory during opening statements, which were to be presented this morning before Federal Judge Helen Gillmor.
But he said Gillmor ruled against the theory before jury selection, which took about seven hours yesterday from a jury pool expanded from about 60 to 98.
Federal officials have charged Kanahele, leader of the self-proclaimed Nation of Hawaii, with interfering with the serving of a warrant in January 1994.
Charges also include harboring federal fugitive Nathan Brown and impeding his arrest in March 1994. Brown, wanted on tax evasion charges, remains at large.
Gordon Kaaihue also is on trial with Kanahele for allegedly interfering with the serving of a warrant in January 1994.
Kaaihue, free on $1,000 bail, wore a Nation of Hawaii t-shirt in the courtroom yesterday.
Kanahele, in custody without bail since his August arrest, wore a suit. He had pursued release on bail, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld local rulings that he was a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Les Osborne said he planned to present six witnesses: U.S. Marshal Annette Kent, two deputy marshals and three police officers.
Aluli said he would call about 12 witnesses during the trial, expected to last 4 or 5 days.
The 14-member jury includes eight women and six men in what Aluli described as a "good cross section of the community."
He also said five jurors were dismissed because they had feelings about sovereignty.
Aluli said he had wanted to use "vindictive prosecution" as a defense in part because of the government's timing in Kanahele's arrest more than 18 months after the incidents.
He said Kanahele had embarked on an aggressive sovereignty awareness campaign in which the Nation of Hawaii issued "warrants" naming certain federal officials as criminals.
Osborne had cited the warrants in his arguments against granting bail for Kanahele.
Osborne also cited Kanahele's admission that the federal government lacks jurisdiction over him, Kanahele's criminal record, which includes threatening a police officer, and recent threats to federal officials.
Kanahele faces an 11-year prison term and up to $750,000 in fines if convicted on this three charges.
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