Thursday, June 28, 2001

State reviews
options for Wong

The Attorney General's
Office may seek to revive
the case in Circuit Court

By Debra Barayuga

The state Attorney General's Office will review whether to ask Circuit Judge Michael Town to reconsider his dismissal of the latest perjury charges against former Bishop Estate trustee Richard "Dickie" Wong.

The move came yesterday after the Hawaii Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by Wong of a court order saying in part that the state had probable cause to file a perjury count against him in 1999. That appeal was made although the judge threw out all three perjury counts against Wong.

The Supreme Court said it had no jurisdiction in the case.

"What this basically does is, it throws it back into the Circuit Court, saying this appeal by Wong shouldn't have been filed in the first place because it was erroneously granted," said Deputy Attorney General Larry Goya.

Wong's attorney Eric Seitz could not be reached for comment.

The state could resurrect the remaining perjury count, but it would require an order from the Supreme Court.

The charge alleged that Wong committed perjury when he testified before a grand jury in 1995 that he had no contact with former brother-in-law Jeffrey Stone about a Kalele Kai land deal that was being negotiated by Bishop Estate.

Wong was charged again in the case, and Town tossed out two April 2001 perjury charges against Wong three weeks ago, saying the court had no jurisdiction since part of the case was still on appeal before the Supreme Court.

The Attorney General's Office had argued that those charges were based on entirely new evidence, on different statements Wong had made to the grand jury and a new theory on how Wong had perjured himself.

But Town ruled that the charges were still based on the same offenses and events for which he was indicted back in 1999.

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