In court Monday, prosecutors told the judge that they learned a couple of weeks ago that their star witness had made the accusations against Sam Kellner after accepting financial assistance from Rabbi Boruch Lebovits’s supporters. Those supporters paid for his lawyer, for his travel to and from Israel (where he is a student); for his tuition and related costs, and for his rent. Yesterday, the Jewish Week reported that this star witness had almost certainly perjured himself in order to get the activist, Sam Kellner, indicted for crimes he did not commit.
Hella Winston reported in the Jewish Week yesterday, the key prosecution witness against Sam Kellner – the man who allegedly extorted the family of alleged pedophile Rabbi Boruch Lebovits and who allegedly bribed witnesses to testify aginst him – is so unreliable that the scandal-plagued Brooklyn DA should not proceed with its case against Kellner, which was supposed to begin today.
Now the NY Times reports that the prosecution had to ask the judge to give the DA Charles Hynes and his staff more time to "investigate" that witness:
…Mr. Lebovits’s lawyers used the Kellner prosecution and other issues to have the conviction overturned [on a technicality]. Mr. Lebovits had already served one year of a minimum 10-year sentence [and is awaiting retrial].
In State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on Monday, prosecutors told the judge, Ann M. Donnelly, that they learned a couple of weeks ago that their witness had made the accusations against Mr. Kellner after accepting financial assistance from Mr. Lebovits’s supporters. That money went to paying for his lawyer; his travel to and from Israel, where he is a student; his apartment; and his school fees.
The judge delayed the trial until July 29 to give prosecutors time to investigate the witness, who previously had said Mr. Lebovits had raped him. A lawyer for Mr. Kellner, Niall MacGiollabhui, said after the hearing that he approached Mr. Hynes’s office months ago with evidence that supporters of Mr. Lebovits were manipulating the accuser.
“The district attorney waited until two weeks before trial to look into it,” he said.
Mr. MacGiollabhui added that he still wanted to bring the case to trial to clear his client, but worried that prosecutors were going to “spin the case out and hope that it dies a quiet death.”
Mr. Hynes’s office declined to comment.…
What the DA actually did is to begin to check the verasity of that witness about two weeks ago, when it became clear to the DA's office that if they brought the case to trial with that witness now, Hynes would be shamed and ridiculed – something he does not want in the middle of his reelection campaign.
The witness' lack of credibility – and Lebovits' family's shenanigans, apparently carried out with Hynes' old buddy Arthur Aidala, Lebovits' lead attorney and Allen Dershowitz, Lebovits' other attorney – were already apparent to reporters and to the defense and had been for some time.
Hella Winston's long series of report in the Jewish Week of the past months exposed many of the gaping holes in the DA's case against Kellner and the DA's appalling behavior. And that put Hynes and his apparently corrupt crew in a difficult position – a position that got demonstrably worse as Winston closed in on them.