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Bribery Trial Delves into Origins of Scandal

Bribery Trial Delves into Origins of Scandal

Posted - Nov. 4, 2003 at 4:43 p.m.



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John Daley ReportingProsecutors in the Olympic bribery case today delved into the origins of the scandal and tangled with defense lawyers over a document that could be a road map to the alleged bribery effort.

The big headline from today's court session: Tom Welch's former secretary told jurors that she gave the so-called Essomba letter to Olympic board member Ken Bullock. She said she did this because of "pressure" from a lobbyist at U.S. West.

Stephanie Pate was the Administrative Assistant to Tom Welch at the Olympic Committee. It was a letter from former vice-president Dave Johnson to the daughter of an International Olympic Comittee member, telling her SLOC's thousands of dollars in scholarship payment were being cut off, that led to the scandal.

When made public the "Essomba letter" helped the scandal become news around the world. On the witness stand Pate described conversations about the letter with Welch.

She made a copy of it and put in a file in her desk. A year later Pate had moved on to U.S. West. She said a U.S. West lobbyist told her if she didn't give the letter to Bullock she'd lose her job. So she did give it to him, in a parking garage.

By today's end Pate said she was relieved her time on the stand was over.

Stephanie Pate, Welch's Former Secretary: "I'm glad it's over. ‘Question: was it difficult being up there talking about all this stuff?’ I'm glad it's over and I'm happy to just be moving on. ‘Question? What's your relationship like with tom?’ I'm just glad this chapter in my life is over."

Tom Welch, Former SLOC President: "Nothing was wrong and nothing has been shown that would give merit to this cause of action and the amount of money being spent in that courtroom every day."

Also in court, defense attorneys asked the judge to not allow into evidence the so-called "Geld Document"--a list of IOC members that allegedly describes what items they'd accept to influence their vote.

Max Wheeler, Dave Johnson's Attorney: "The government has the burden of proof. We're just making sure they follow the rules of evidence. But you think it shouldn't be allowed. Obviously we filed the objection to it. Why? Because we want them to prove their case."

KSL’s John Daley called former SLOC board member Ken Bullock and asked him about Pate's testimony today. He told him: “People knew I had a copy of the letter. There's no disputing that." He declined to say what he did with the letter, and whether he leaked it to the press.

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