Grand-jury witness list window to Qwest case
By Greg Griffin, Staff Writer
Thursday, December 15, 2005
At least 15 current and former Qwest officials and board
members have testified before a grand jury in the criminal
fraud and money-laundering case against former Qwest
executive vice president Marc Weisberg, according to court
The case is scheduled for trial beginning Jan. 3.
Prosecutors say Weisberg secretly took $3 million worth of
stock from Qwest vendors for himself and others, including
his son's basketball coach, his wife's personal trainer, his
brother-in-law and his secretary. Weisberg has pleaded not
guilty, and his attorneys are seeking dismissal of the
The list of those testifying before the grand jury, filed
last month by Weisberg's attorneys and unsealed by a judge
this week, and other documents filed in recent weeks show
how the government's case is shaping up.
In addition to company founder and director Philip Anschutz
and former director Hank Brown, the grand jury has heard
testimony from former board members Jordan Haines, George
Harad, Peter Hellman, Richard Liebhaber and Craig Slater.
Former Qwest executives who testified include general
counsel Drake Tempest, marketing executive vice president
Stephen Jacobsen and Internet executive vice president Lew
Current Qwest general counsel Richard Baer and current board
members Linda Alvarado and Cannon Harvey also testified.
Prosecutors have said in court filings that they plan to
introduce more than 300 exhibits, including e-mails and
letters to or from Anschutz, Tempest, Wilks and former Qwest
president Afshin Mohebbi. They also plan to call as
witnesses Weisberg's former secretary, a top lieutenant and
senior Qwest officials at the time he worked there.
The grand jury list throws light on how the Weisberg case
may be intertwined with a criminal investigation into former
Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio.
Prosecutors may seek an indictment against Nacchio on
insider-trading charges from a grand jury before the end of
the year, according to sources familiar with the case.
Nacchio has denied any wrongdoing while he was at Qwest.
Legal experts have speculated that investigators are leaning
on Weisberg to provide information that would help prosecute
Nacchio. Prosecutors have said the Weisberg case was an
offshoot of the larger Qwest investigation and that the two
cases aren't closely related in substance.
Nacchio's potential indictment may come up during a hearing
Friday before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn.
Among the issues to be discussed are witness lists,
exhibits, jury instructions and potential juror questions.
Weisberg's attorneys, who did not return calls Wednesday,
may want to ask potential jurors about their awareness of
and opinions regarding the high-profile Nacchio case.
Staff writer Greg
Griffin can be reached at 303-820-1241 or