Thursday, June 3, 1999

Sen. Ige’s wife given
immunity as alleged
campaign abuse is probed

By Rick Daysog


State prosecutors this morning granted blanket immunity to the wife of state Sen. Marshall Ige, paving the way for her to testify before an Oahu grand jury that is investigating allegations of campaign finance abuses involving Bishop Estate employees.

Circuit Judge Frances Wong approved the attorney general's offer of transactional immunity to Caryn Ige, whose husband is a possible target of the grand jury's inquiry.

Deputy Attorney General Kurt Spohn told Judge Wong that Caryn Ige's testimony will assist the grand jury's investigation. He declined to discuss details of the grand jury proceedings as he left Wong's courtroom.

"My belief is that she does have knowledge of the matters that are being investigated," Spohn said.

Attorney Rustam Barbee said Caryn Ige this morning went before the grand jury and invoked her Fifth Amendment right against incriminating herself after she was asked a question by the secret panel.

The attorney general's office in September alleged that Bishop Estate employees in 1995 directed several of its outside vendors pay $18,000 of Marshall Ige's campaign debts, in apparent violation of state campaign laws.

The senator has denied any wrongdoing.

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