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Bahamian is asked to explain himself

October 24, 2009|Associated Press

A Bahamas judge asked a lawmaker Friday to explain remarks that led to a mistrial in the John Travolta extortion case.

Picewell Forbes was summoned before the judge for announcing an acquittal Wednesday night while the jury was still deliberating a verdict for two defendants accused of trying to blackmail the movie star.

Senior Justice Anita Allen told Forbes that he has until Thursday to show why he should not be charged with contempt of court.

Forbes did not provide an explanation at the hearing, but his lawyer said earlier he was only repeating a rumor he heard moments before making a televised speech at political convention.

Allen said she declared a mistrial because the announcement created the appearance of a leak from the jury room.

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