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LOS ANGELES — Raising the stakes in a discovery battle, federal prosecutors claimed Monday that Anthony Pellicano ordered a “hit” to be placed on Alex Proctor, the man who allegedly threatened reporter Anita Busch in an incident that set off the ongoing wiretapping investigation. Court papers filed by the L.A. U.S. attorney’s office on Monday allege that Pellicano conspired with “known organized crime connections” in Chicago to keep Proctor from testifying against him. Proctor is serving a 10-year prison term in Illinois on unrelated drug charges. The government papers are a response to documents Pellicano lawyer Steven Gruel filed last month aimed at getting more discovery out of Los Angeles federal prosecutors. Gruel on Monday dismissed the government allegations as a rehashing of the “same tired claim” prosecutors raised at Pellicano’s February detention hearing. He said he had no knowledge of any attempted hit. And if they believed one occurred, he asked, why weren’t there any charges?
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“It’s an effort to avoid providing info that may be critical in analyzing the search warrant,” Gruel said. In its papers, the government suggested that Pellicano’s discovery requests are aimed at finding out whether Proctor is cooperating with the authorities and what, if anything, he may have told them. The government also sought to refute Gruel’s contention that a key FBI agent involved in the Pellicano case had been found not credible by a federal judge. In 2002, Pellicano allegedly hired Proctor to threaten Busch, who was working on a story for the Los Angeles Times about Steven Seagal’s possible ties to the Mafia, according to prosecutors. Busch returned to her car to find a smashed windshield, a dead fish with a rose in its mouth, and the word “stop,” she told prosecutors. That allegation spurred an FBI raid of Pellicano’s office in which illegal explosives — and documents that led to the latest wiretapping charges — were found. Both Pellicano and Proctor have been charged in a pending state case with conspiracy and criminal threats in connection with the threat against Busch. The latest government filing is a response to the defense’s request for all evidence relating to Proctor and Seagal. Prosecutors said any such evidence would be irrelevant in the wiretapping charges Pellicano now faces, and said Gruel’s other discovery requests were premature, adding that his requests appeared to be aimed at getting early discovery.

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