Friday, February 29, 2008

Fannick Says DA is Trying to "Disparage" His Reputation

Demetrius Fannick

The Times Leader is reporting that ever since attorney Demetrius Fannick was successful in defending double homicide suspect Hugo Selenski, the Luzerne County District Attorney's office has been trying to "disparage" his reputation, the attorney said.

That "pattern" is continuing, he said, in the office's latest move to try and have him disqualified from representing homicide suspect Harlow Cuadra.

Prosecutors are asking a judge to remove Fannick from defending Cuadra because Fannick had previously met with Cuadra's co-defendant, Joseph Kerekes. Fannick's meetings with Kerekes, they said, creates a conflict with him representing Cuadra.

But Fannick, in court papers filed Friday in response to the request, said no conflict exists because he had "limited his discussions" with Kerekes to "preliminary matters," mainly legal fees.

That's all, Fannick said.

And prosecutors knew that, he said, but they still sought Fannick's removal from the case because of Fannick's win in the Selenski case and other cases, he said. Selenski in 2006 was cleared of homicide charges, but convicted of abuse of a corpse charges in connection with the deaths of two suspected drug dealers.

Fannick said he has done nothing unethical, and there is no reason for him to be removed from the case.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. will rule on the disqualification request after a hearing next week.