Defense attorneys question cases prosecuted by deputies facing federal corruption probe

Keith Kaneshiro. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Keith Kaneshiro. (Image: Hawaii News Now)(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 at 11:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The attorney for convicted murderer Dae Han Moon sent a letter to the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, requesting information about the federal public corruption investigation that has widened to include the prosecutor’s office.

Victor Bakke, Moon’s attorney, asked to see the target and subject letters the Department of Justice sent to Keith Kaneshiro and his deputy, Chasid Sapolu.

Deputy prosecutor Chasid Sapolu has received a subject letter from the U.S. Department of...
Deputy prosecutor Chasid Sapolu has received a subject letter from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Janice Futa
Janice Futa

Sapolu was the original trial prosecutor on the case.

Sapolu voluntarily put himself on administrative leave Thursday admitting that he received the subject letter and saying he would cooperate with the federal investigation.

Bakke praised Sapolu’s decision saying it does eliminates any concerns people have about new cases coming in.

But Bakke criticized Kaneshiro, who appears to be refusing to follow Sapolu’s lead and step aside despite political pressure and urging from other attorneys.

“This is causing damage every single day.” Bakke said, “The defense attorneys love it, we’ll be filing motions until the cows come home. because it’s all tainted it’s from the very top.”

The federal investigation started with the ex-police chief and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor, but it expanded beyond Louis and Katherine Kealoha.

The couple and four police officers are awaiting federal trials and now, the prosecutor’s office appears to be under fire.

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