Friday, April 27, 2001

Wong fights
court’s jurisdiction
in perjury charge

The former Kamehameha
trustee faces the same
2 counts in 2 courts

By Debra Barayuga

Former Kamehameha Schools trustee Richard "Dickie" Wong is contesting the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court to try him on perjury charges -- the same charges currently being appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Because he was not willing to enter a plea yesterday on the latest perjury charges brought by the state, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn entered a plea of not guilty for Wong. She also set a trial date of June 25.

"The same charges are before the Hawaii Supreme Court, and they should not have re-indicted him while that's still going on," said Eric Seitz, Wong's attorney.

The state indicted Wong a week ago on two perjury charges stemming from testimony he gave a grand jury in connection with a 1995 Kalele Kai land deal between Bishop Estate and a partnership that involved local developer Jeffrey Stone, Wong's brother-in-law.

Last November, Circuit Judge Michael Town threw out two of three perjury charges relating to Wong's testimony on the Kalele Kai negotiations. The state appealed the dismissal to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Seitz appealed the third perjury charge, which Town upheld "because there are larger issues about vindictiveness and authority of the grand jury."

A decision by the high court is still pending.

The latest perjury charges involve the same allegations -- that Wong lied when he told the grand jury he had no contact with Stone when Stone was negotiating the purchase of the condominium project, and that he did not communicate further with Stone once Stone got involved in the Kalele Kai deal.

Bishop Estate Archive
Kamehameha Schools

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