Ex-Chiquita lawyer calls charge unfair page 12

By: Editorial Staff George G. Ventura, the former Chiquita Brands International Inc. lawyer charged with helping Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Mike Gallagher steal voice mails from the company, wants to know why others are not being prosecuted. Ventura's lawyers on Monday argued he has been unfairly singled out, according to The Associated Press.
Prosecutor Daniel Breyer said Ventura was not being singled out for prosecution. Breyer said Ventura betrayed his company and broke the law. Ventura's attorneys asked the judge in the case if they can question a former prosecutor, the sheriff, and Enquirer employees. The judge has not yet ruled on the request.
Ventura's case arose from a series of Enquirer stories published last May charging Chiquita with corrupt business practices. Former reporter Gallagher later admitted he gained information from the story by improperly accessing the company's voice mail. Gallagher also said Ventura helped him break into the private phone system.
A few weeks after the series was published, Gallagher was fired and the newspaper retracted the stories. The Enquirer also said it paid Chiquita $10 million to settle any claims.
Ventura faces five counts of unlawful interception of communications and five counts of unauthorized access to computer systems.
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