Federal prosecutors today insisted that lawyers for James “Whitey” Bulger do not need the name of an FBI confidential informant the defense believes will help undermine the credibility of Kevin Weeks and John Martorano, former Bulger allies who are expected to testify against the gangster.
In papers filed in US District Court, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office said defense attorneys J.W. Carney Jr. and Henry Brennan already have an unredacted copy of an FBI report from 2000 summarizing what the confidential informant said, and they are not legally entitled to any more information on the informant’s identity.
“The substance of the information has been disclosed and defense investigators can interview the individuals listed in the report who would have firsthand knowledge of the rumors,’’ prosecutors wrote.
The prosecution added that “suspicions that a confidential informant may have information that may lead to another individual who may have information that may lead to a third individual who the defense already knows’’ makes the request flawed.
The person was quoted in the FBI report as saying that Weeks and Martorano had told people they knew that they were informing only on Bulger, not on any other crime figure they knew, according to court records.
Weeks and Martorano cut deals with law enforcement officials that reduced their prison sentences in return for testifying against Bulger.
Martorano served 12 years and two months in prison for admitting to killing 20 people as part of his deal with law enforcement. Weeks spent five years and three months in prison for being an accessory to five murders, the Globe has reported.
Bulger’s defense team said they wanted the name of the confidential informant so they could question that person about what he or she knew about Weeks’s and Martorano’s alleged plans to tailor their testimony.
Bulger’s defense team also asked for the name of a former girlfriend of Weeks. The defense alleges that she was the source of the information that eventually reached the confidential informant’s ears.
“The information provided by the [confidential informant] is almost certain to contradict the direct examination testimony of Weeks and Martorano,’’ Bulger’s lawyers wrote on May 15.
Judge Denise Casper, who is overseeing the trial, has not yet issued a ruling on this matter, one of several disagreements Casper must mediate before Bulger’s trial begins.
Bulger, 83, is charged in a federal racketeering indictment that alleges he participated in 19 murders. Jury selection is scheduled to start June 6.Shelley Murphy of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.