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Cyril H. Wecht


John Simkin
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Message from Cyril H. Wecht.

Dear JFK Assassination Researcher,

By now, I'm certain you are aware of the serious legal problems with which I have been confronted in recent weeks. It is not possible to discuss this matter in any detail within the context of this letter, but I will simply state that my attorneys -- who include former U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh and J. Alan Johnson, former U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania -- strongly believe the charges against me are unjustified. All of them agree that this vindictive inquisition is completely indefensible and that ultimately, I will prevail.

Unfortunately, the legal defense that I must mount all the way through a prolonged trial will be astronomically expensive. But I have no choice. My entire life is literally at stake -- personally, professionally and financially. And most important, the incredible emotionally traumatic impact this investigation has had on my wife, children and grandchildren must be reversed.

Your financial assistance in this critical matter would be deeply appreciated and, together with similar contributions from other key individuals, might even prove life-saving. Should you find yourself in a financial position to contribute to this cause, please direct it to the "Wecht Legal Defense Fund" at 1119 Penn Ave., Suite 404, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.

Thank you for your consideration of this fervent plea.

With kind regards,

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.

p.s. There is no particular reason to believe that my four decade-long search for the truth in the assassination of John F. Kennedy is the cause of this prosecution, but neither is there reason to believe that resistance to that work is not one of the government's motivating factors. It is of note, for instance, that the F.B.I. has seized all of my JFK assassination files and correspondence, even though none of the allegations against me have been related in any way to that case.

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  • 4 years later...

Clearing Cyril Wecht: A persecution ends

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

As political prosecutions go, the federal case against Cyril Wecht turned out to be a particularly pugnacious brand of perniciousness. Yet even in shameful defeat, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan could not let it go.

A federal grand jury indicted Dr. Wecht in January 2006. It accused the former Allegheny County coroner and world-renowned forensic pathologist of 84 counts of public corruption -- fraud and theft for allegedly using his public office for private gain.

But it appeared to be a chicken-droppings case from the outset. Half of the charges were withdrawn before Wecht went to trial, one that ended in a hung jury in April 2008. The feds decided to try Wecht again, this time on 14 counts.

But a hardly funny thing happened on the way to the United States government's persecution of Cyril Wecht. A federal judge ruled that investigators lacked the proper supporting paperwork to go on the fishing expedition they did. Illegally gathered evidence is no "evidence" at all.

A "technicality"? Indeed. But it's the kind of technicality designed to protect people from just this kind of prosecutory zeal that runs roughshod over the rule of law. Mrs. Buchanan had no choice but to drop the charges. Her zealotry was another matter.

"We have a lot of other criminals we can go after," she said. That's inexcusable.

Cyril Wecht, now 78, paid a horrendous personal and professional price for the federal government's monomaniacal behavior. In the least, Buchanan owes him not a smart-aleck's tongue but a humble apology.

Edited by Peter McGuire
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