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Party Videotape at Issue in Tyco Trial

Defense doesn't want jurors to see some scenes of the $2-million bash for the ex-CEO's wife.

October 28, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Lawyers in the trial of former Tyco International Ltd. Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski argued Monday over how much jurors should see of a videotape showing a $2-million party he threw for his wife on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.

One of Kozlowski's lawyers, Austin Campriello, contended that the four-hour tape had material that was prejudicial to his client without adding anything to the larceny case against Kozlowski and former Tyco Chief Financial Officer Mark Swartz. The lawyer asked to remove several scenes of the tape.

Justice Michael Obus said he would decide later how the videotape would be presented to the jury.

Prosecutors accuse Kozlowski and Swartz of stealing $600 million from Tyco, partly by billing the company for personal expenses. "This whole week in Sardinia is a stark illustration of that," Assistant Dist. Atty. Ann Donnelly said.

Defense lawyers say Kozlowski and Swartz earned all the compensation they got from Tyco and all the appropriate overseers knew about their compensation and loans.

Barbara Jacques, a former Tyco events planner, testified that she planned the 40th birthday party in Sardinia for Kozlowski's wife, Karen Mayo, at the CEO's request.

Jacques also said she received nearly $500,000 in forgiven loans and tax benefits in 2000.

Jacques said the golf course at Sardinia's Hotel Cala di Volpe, where the 75 guests stayed for the June 2001 party, was transformed to resemble a Roman forum. The walkway was lined with chariots and men dressed as gladiators as guests entered the reception area.

A rock band from Nantucket, Mass., E. Cliff and the Swing Dogs, was hired at a cost of $20,000, Jacques said, and singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and his group were flown in at a cost of $250,000.

Campriello said Tyco business as well as Mayo's party took place. He said Kozlowski paid about half the $2-million cost of the Sardinia visit. Prosecutors say no real company business took place and virtually the entire six-day event was a party.

Kozlowski and Swartz are on trial in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, charged with grand larceny and enterprise corruption. Each faces as many as 30 years in prison if convicted.

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