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Director reaches plea deal in L A wiretap case

By Staff
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LOS ANGELES, Apr 18 (Reuters) ''Die Hard'' director John McTiernan, the biggest Hollywood name indicted so far in the wiretapping scandal involving one-time celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano, has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, his lawyers HAS told a court.

No details of the agreement were made public and McTiernan, who also directed such films as ''Predator,'' ''The Hunt for Red October'' and ''The Thomas Crown Affair,'' declined comment as he left federal court in Los Angeles yesterday.

He had been charged with a single count of making a false statement to federal agents during an interview in which he stated that he had no knowledge of any wiretapping conducted by Pellicano and had never discussed wiretapping with Pellicano.

McTiernan was accused of hiring Pellicano to wiretap producer Charles Roven, with whom he worked on the film ''Rollerball'' in 2002. Court documents did not specify when Roven's phones were tapped or why.

The director was expected back in court to formally enter a guilty plea later in the day. He is free on 50,000 dollar bail.

Pellicano, who has worked for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, was charged in February in a 110-count racketeering and conspiracy indictment, which alleges he illegally wiretapped and obtained the confidential records of performers, journalists and business executives.

He has pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which was returned just before he completed a 30-month term in federal prison for firearms violations. He faces up to 20 years behind bars on each of the racketeering charges.

Among those whose privacy he is accused of breaching through wiretaps or illicit database searches were actors Sylvester Stallone and Keith Carradine, and comedians Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon.

REUTERS PDS PM0448

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