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Hollywood PI Pellicano's Last Stand

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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SMOOTH CRIMINAL Pellicano(Photo: Getty Images)

A Hail Mary legal motion is all that's keeping disgraced Hollywood investigator Anthony Pellicano from his date with a federal judge—and likely 8 to 10 years in the hoosegow. According to a 13-page brief obtained by Radar, Pellicano's lawyer, Steven Gruel, has filed a motion demanding that his client be set free because the case has been "fatally infected with government misconduct."

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There's strong reason to suspect the court date will stand, the motion tossed, and that Pellicano and six others will be in court on February 26 to face 110 counts of racketeering, illegal wiretapping, and destruction of evidence, among other charges. Gruel's contention is that the FBI's raid on Pellicano's office in 2003—which yielded C-4 explosive and two hand grenades—was conducted improperly as the agency had no reason to suspect Pellicano was involved in the 2002 death threat against Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch. Busch, after writing a series of stories tying Pellicano client Steven Segal to the Mafia, found her car windshield smashed, along with a dead fish and a note that simply said "Stop." After the FBI recorded career thug Alexander Proctor saying he'd attacked Busch's vehicle at the behest of Pellicano, they raided Pellicano's office and discovered the stockpile of wiretapping equipment and illegally recorded tapes that currently have him in hot water.

Gruel's motion claims the FBI failed to inform the court that the Proctor tapes were "completely unreliable," that Proctor's description of the Busch vandalism scene was "inaccurate," and that an FBI agent only "pretended" he suspected Steven Segal was involved in the Busch incident in order to get at Pellicano. Right, pretended. Maybe the hit Pellicano allegedly put on Proctor to prevent him from testifying was make-believe too?

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