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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom

Aired August 19, 2003 - 19:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now we move on now to Eagle, Colorado. That is where a judge in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case is still keeping court documents under wraps for the moment. Meanwhile, someone around there is polling Eagle County residents about the case. For some expert insight into exactly what is going on, let's bring in Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, an assistant district attorney in San Francisco. Good evening. Thanks for being with us.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, ASSISTANT D.A., SAN FRANCISCO: Thank you, Daryn.

KAGAN: First, let's talk polling. We don't know exactly who's doing the polling, but someone's going around Eagle, Colorado, asking people, what do you think. Who would benefit by doing something like that?

NEWSOM: Well, in particular in this case we've seen the prosecution issue a statement saying that they're not doing it, and the defense hasn't returned calls on it and refusing to comment. It's likely that it's coming from defense team sources, team Kobe. And in fact, what they're doing is they're trying to see what kind of people out there, potential jurors would favor or be more inclined to favor an opinion about Kobe that he is innocent versus guilty. It's very common in cases like this, and certainly given his unlimited resources, it's no surprise that we're seeing it at this early stage of the proceedings.

KAGAN: He does have the blank check to do whatever he needs to do.

NEWSOM: Absolutely.

KAGAN: So it seems like perhaps they're building an argument for change of venue. Why would you want to do that? How likely is that to happen?

NEWSOM: They will be able to use this data, not only for selecting jurors, but in particular, to support a motion to the judge that this case should be moved, that Kobe Bryant cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in this particular small community. And it's very common in cases that are high profile like this to use these kind of resources. And in fact, you can see it come into the court case, in particular in motions that the defense will likely file.

KAGAN: But first you have to have the preliminary hearing. First actually they're going to find there's going to be a trial. NEWSOM: Correct.

KAGAN: Then you get to this change of venue motion.

NEWSOM: Correct.

KAGAN: OK. Let's talk about this discussion about whether to seal or not to unseal. That's what the judge still must decide.

NEWSOM: That's correct. Judge Gannett is making that decision. And he said he would make it early this week. So I fully expect to see it tomorrow, in the next couple of days, to issue a written ruling in this particular case to determine whether or not he's going to release the arrest warrant with the accompanying affidavit. And in this, you would see information that talks about this case, what kind of physical force was used, the victim's statements, essentially the meat, the crux of the case as to why they were able to persuade a judge to be able to go out and arrest Kobe Bryant.

KAGAN: Now, you know, journalists like us, the media, as people like to say, we would love to see what's in there. But in terms of the prosecution or the defense, does one seem to gain by having this information released?

NEWSOM: No, not really. I mean, both would probably like to keep this information under wraps, because when the time comes for the preliminary hearing, all of this information is going to come out. I wouldn't be surprised if Judge Gannett in this case keeps the information sealed, especially given the nature of the case. It's a sexual assault case. A lot of details in it very sensitive. Also, the victim's right to privacy in addition weighing in on that would be the defendant's right to a fair trial and the ability for the judge to protect his fair right by not poisoning the potential jurors.

KAGAN: Which would mean we'll just going to have to wait until there is a trial, if indeed there is a trial.

NEWSOM: Right.

KAGAN: Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, thank you. Nice to meet you, good to have you here on with us tonight.

NEWSOM: Thank you.

KAGAN: Appreciate it.

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