The Association of U S West Retirees



Prosecutors ask court to deny Nacchio new trial
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Wednesday July 25, 2007

Federal prosecutors said in a filing today that former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio's motion for a new trial and a change of venue should be denied because pretrial publicity did not prevent the selection of a fair jury.

"While (Nacchio) has established intense coverage, he has not established that this coverage was so inflammatory that prejudice must be presumed," assistant U.S. attorney Kevin Traskos wrote in the filing.

The filing noted that U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham already denied Nacchio's pretrial motion for a change of venue last year, stating that such motions are "rarely granted."

After six days of deliberations and a month-long trial in Denver federal court, Nacchio was convicted in April on 19 counts of illegal insider trading and acquitted on 23 other counts.

Nacchio's attorneys filed the motion for a new trial and change of venue in June, stating that because "the pervasive publicity was so intensely negative and long lasting, a new trial should be granted."

Nacchio, 58, will be sentenced Friday. Prosecutors have recommended that he serve 87 months in prison, pay $19 million in fines and forfeit $52 million in ill-gotten gains. Defense attorneys have asked for leniency and say the most Nacchio should be required to forfeit is $1.8 million.

"In brief, it is not reasonable to suggest that a circus atmosphere reigned at trial due to pretrial publicity," Traskos wrote in today's filing.

Staff writer Andy Vuong can be reached at 303-954-1209 or