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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 13:53 GMT
Stars' private eye plans defence
Anthony Pellicano
Pellicano's lawyer will remain in place for the present time
A US private investigator accused of illegally wire-tapping celebrities including Sylvester Stallone has opted to defend himself in a court case.

Prosecutors say Anthony Pellicano illegally obtained details about his unnamed Hollywood clients' rivals to make threats and blackmail people.

Mr Pellicano, who denies the charges, said he was "best suited" to represent himself in his trial next month.

A Los Angeles judge will decide if Mr Pellicano can defend himself.

Prosecutors say Mr Pellicano bugged the phones of Hollywood stars such as Sylvester Stallone and bribed police officers to do background checks on 60 people, including comedian Garry Shandling.

Search claim

Following a police investigation dating back to 2002, 13 people have been charged, with four pleading guilty to charges including wire fraud and conspiracy.

During a US District Court hearing on Monday, Mr Pellicano - who faces 112 charges - said he wanted to represent himself because he had "a lot of questions" about the investigation.

He has launched a legal action over his office being subjected to a search, which he says the FBI made without the correct warrants.

Mr Pellicano is awaiting trial in a separate case for allegedly hiring a man to threaten a former Los Angeles Times reporter who was investigating actor Steven Seagal.


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