Saturday, November 13, 1999

State drops conspiracy
charges against
Peters, developer

By Rick Daysog


The attorney general's office has dropped conspiracy charges against ousted Bishop Estate trustee Henry Peters and local developer Jeffrey Stone.

But the state said it will pursue related theft and commercial bribery charges.

Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Goya yesterday agreed to drop the conspiracy counts due to procedural problems. Under state court rules, a prosecutor cannot convict someone for committing a crime while convicting him for concealing the alleged crime, he said.

Peters called the dismissal a good sign that the remaining theft charge will be dismissed, saying the criminal allegations are politically motivated.

Peters and Stone are challenging grand jury indictments against them, saying they were based on tainted evidence. The two have asked Circuit Judge Michael Town to dismiss the charges or suppress evidence they believe is tainted. Town will hear additional testimony Monday.

"I see this heading in the right direction," Peters said. "I was hoping that the judge would drop all of the case. But I'll take a piece of the pie as it goes around."

In August, an Oahu grand jury indicted Peters for theft and Stone for commercial bribery, perjury and for serving as an accomplice to theft. The indictment alleged that the estate gave Stone favorable treatment when he and partner National Housing Corp. acquired the estate's fee interest to the 219-unit Kalele Kai project.

In return, Stone indirectly acquired Peters' upscale Makiki condominium for an inflated price.

Stone and Peters have denied wrongdoing, saying the Kalele Kai project benefited the estate immensely.

Earlier this year, Judge Town threw out previous grand jury indictments against Stone and Peters due to improper testimony from Stone's former attorney Richard Frunzi, who was convicted of federal money-laundering charges.

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