Poll: Utahns Want Bribery Details Made Public

Poll: Utahns Want Bribery Details Made Public

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John Daley ReportingThe Olympic bribery trial does not appear to have changed people's views on the Games, but most Utahns believe it is necessary for details about the now-tainted bid to be made public.

According to an exclusive SurveyUSA poll of 500 Utahns 73% of those polled say details about alleged bribes to IOC members has had no effect on their opinion about the Olympic Games overall. A quarter of those polled say it has had a negative effect.

A solid majority, 59%, thought the Games were fairly awarded to Salt Lake and still do. But 25% say they originally thought the Games were awarded fairly and now they don't. And a solid majority believe a full disclosure of what methods were used to influence the IOC and who participated is necessary, while a third say it's unnecessary.

All along the Olympic trial promised to be an eye-opening but messy affair and that's exactly what's transpired in the courtroom. Both Justice Department prosecutors and the Welch and Johnson defense team are working hard the make sure jurors understand certain key points about the case.

The Olympic bid trial of Tom Welch and Dave Johnson is shaping up as a classic courtroom drama, each side making compelling arguments.

The prosecution maintains Salt Lake won the Games by buying the Games, supplying willing IOC members with more than a million dollars in gifts.

Their case is based on what they see as concrete evidence: a paper trail of thousands of checks, letters and other documents detailing allegedly shady transactions, examples of concealment--what they say were efforts by Welch and Johnson to hide alleged bribes using bogus jobs, companies and consulting contracts and creative accounting.

All of that supported by the testimony of Olympic insiders like Welch's secretary Stephanie Pate and Finance Director Rod Hamson.

But the defense team is counterpunching with a barrage of critical responses. Using the government's own documents and witnesses against them, the defense says the record shows actions the government says were hidden were actually right there in the books and clear to see.

Also that Olympic figures like the USOC's Alfredo LaMont and many IOC members were personally profiting from the campaign, but they aren't now on trial; that other cities, including Nagano and Atlanta, played the same game, but never paid a price; that it was an all-out community effort with leaders like-Frank Joklik, Spence Eccles, David Simmons, Dee Dee Corridini and Orrin Hatch all helping, personally overseeing the bid or assisting an IOC member or their relative.

What's more, the defense says over-zealous prosecutors pressured witnesses to support a weak case.

Tom Welch, Former SLOC President: "They took people who had problems. They took people who were afraid and basically told them what to say."

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