Nacchio judge limits testimony by victims
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Monday, July 24, 2007
A federal judge has made it difficult for prosecutors to line up
victims to testify at former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio's sentencing
Friday. U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham, in a ruling
Monday, said he would set aside up to 90 minutes for victim
statements. He defined a victim as a person who bought Qwest
shares on the days Nacchio illegally sold them. That narrows the
period to 19 days in April and May 2001.
Nottingham also wrote that prosecutors must coordinate the
appearance of victims.
Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in
Colorado, said the office had no comment on the ruling.
Prosecutors have set up a notice to potential victims at
Mimi Hull, president of the Association of U S West Retirees,
said the retirees sent out an e-mail to members about two weeks
ago concerning possible victim statements at Nacchio's
sentencing. But she said she doesn't know whether anyone is
scheduled to testify.
She said Nottingham's narrow ruling on victim statements was
wise, given the likelihood of appeal by Nacchio's defense team.
"I think for the purpose of appeal, he's very smart to do this,"
Hull said of Nottingham. "You know they're tracking his every
In issuing the ruling, Nottingham rejected a broader definition
of a victim.
He also denied the government's motion for the court to
establish a procedure for notifying victims.
He said it's up to the government to "identify victims, to
notice them and to coordinate their appearance in court," while
it's the court's obligation to allow victims to be "reasonably
heard" at sentencing.
Nottingham said any victim to be heard will take an oath and
present his testimony by answering questions from his attorney.