This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, April 22, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight: Scott Peterson's defense attorney Mark Geragos is complaining about the prosecution's slow pace in handing over evidence. -- This is coming to light just as new details of a secret meeting have emerged. Let's go back to KFI radio's Laura Ingle for more details. What's this secret meeting, Laura?
LAURA INGLE, KFI RADIO: Well, they've been meeting in judge's chambers at the start of court proceedings this week, and while Mark Geragos will not tip his hand as to what those meetings are about -- of course, it's all under a gag order -- we do understand that it could have something to do with the blood that was found in a brown van that the defense contends is connected to the disappearance of Laci Peterson. Prosecutors looked at this brown van that was looked at, that was in and around the area of Laci and Scott Peterson's home the week she disappeared. They've already cleared it.
But what happened was, as we're getting closer to this trial beginning, the defense said that they wanted to retest some of the blood that was in that van. The prosecution took the blood and said, Fine, we're retest it, too. But the defense, from my understanding, is concerned that possibly they won't have all the access they need to that blood, meaning, like, if maybe they use it all up or if something happens to it, that they're going to lose that key important evidence. So I think there's a lot of haggling going on behind closed doors about that particular piece of evidence. We do know prosecutors in open court, prosecutors did ask for that, or talk about retesting the blood. So we know that that is on the table somewhere, so that's why there's a lot of speculation that that's what these closed-door meetings are, in fact, about.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what I have -- I have some information from Valerie (ph), who sits in the courtroom every day. She sends me notes. In fact, if you read Gretawire, you'll actually read about it. But she also wrote me today that the judge received an anonymous letter claiming the person knew who killed Laci Peterson. Geragos after court said it was a coup. So thank you from Valerie, as well, giving us information. You'll find all this stuff on Gretawire.com.
All right, Laura, thank you.
Let's bring back our legal panel. Geoff, Geragos has said that when this whole topic about what goes on behind closed doors in a secret meeting -- he was quoted as saying, "Usually it's when the defense presents a theory to support something they want the judge to do." Later he said to the judge in open court, "I'll have that order here tomorrow." What do you make of this?
GEOFFREY FEIGER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it's a highly unusual thing. Judges don't meet with either side alone during the course of a trial, virtually never. But the only explanation for this, Greta, can be that Geragos is pursuing a theory that he feels he doesn't have to disclose to the prosecutor, doesn't want to, and wants to discuss with the judge issues regarding discovery involving that theory alone, not the merits of the case, but simply that theory that he feels he doesn't have to disclose to the other side. And apparently, the judge is letting him do it. Otherwise, no judge would meet alone with one side or the other during this stage of the proceedings. It's just generally not allowed.
VAN SUSTEREN : Yale, what's your thought on this?
YALE GALANTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that Geoff's pretty much hitting the nail on the head, but he probably needs court authority or a court order to have certain tests run to, you know, advance his theory of his defense, but he doesn't want to turn it over yet, until he actually has the test result and the test done. So that's why he had this ex parte hearing, which Geoff said is very, very unusual, especially for -- I understand it was 45 minutes to an hour. And for Geragos to be in there with the judge alone for that period of time is an awfully long time to ask for a special test to be done.
VAN SUSTEREN : Yes, it's certainly not a social call. Jeanine, when you're the prosecutor generally and you have the situation where you're sitting in the courtroom and the judge is sitting back in chambers talking to defense attorneys, you must be wildly curious about what's going on.
JEANINE PIRRO, WESTCHESTER COUNTY DA: Well, I think -- you know, Greta, having been a judge myself, first of all, it is highly unusual to have an ex parte communication or a communication with one side without the other being there. But remember, this is always on the record. There is a court stenographer there taking this information down. It may be sealed, but clearly, what Geragos seems to be doing here is making an application that he feels that if he divulges to the prosecution, will somehow destroy his efforts for whatever that application is. And in true Geragos style, I think the theater comes out when he says, Judge, I'll have that order for to you sign on Tuesday. I'll bet you there isn't even going to be an order on Tuesday for him to sign.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, we'll have to wait and see on that one. Jim?
JIM HAMMER, FORMER ASST. SAN FRANCISCO DA: I'll bet you there's an order, but I think it's even more than that. I think it's psychological warfare. I know, as a prosecutor, because it happens, when the defense attorney disappears by himself or herself with the judge for an hour later and comes out with a smile on his face, that it makes me nervous. I think Mark is laying out his theory of relevance, why he wants this order, and he's making the prosecution sweat, and I'll bet just making them sweat.
VAN SUSTEREN: But that's the oldest trick in the book because every time you go to the bench after you object and the judge then tells you you're dead wrong, you walk away back and you smile and...
HAMMER: You usually don't get 45 minutes in private with the judge, laying out your defense theory. The prosecution should worry about that.
VAN SUSTEREN: I know. Well, I always smiled, even when I lost, so the jury thought I'd won.
VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway...
HAMMER: Because you're a good actor.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, the motion for change of venue, they've set a new date for May 11. Is there any chance in the world that this show -- this trial is going to be on another road trip?
HAMMER: I'd bet everything I own, my parents own, and my grandchildren, if I have them, own against it. Delucchi has worked too hard. He's slaved every day, sometimes getting one juror per day out of this panel, to collect a mass of 70 jurors so we can have the shoot-out on May 13 and start the trial on May 17. I'll bet everything that that motion is denied.
VAN SUSTEREN: Geoff, I assume you're going to bet the same way, too, because that's where I'd be betting.
FEIGER: Yes, and they're getting jurors, by the way. It's not as if they don't -- that they're finding it impossible to get jurors. They're actually getting jurors, which will mediate totally against a grant of that motion. Geragos is spinning his wheels. And by the way, he won't be representing Mark -- excuse me -- Michael Jackson. He'll be so involved in this case, and after he loses this case, it'll be impossible for Jackson to want him as his attorney.
PIRRO: I agree with Geoff.
VAN SUSTEREN: Really? Why, Jeanine?
PIRRO: Well, I'll tell you. I think -- I think that Michael Jackson, after he sees the amount of time that Geragos is putting in the Scott Peterson case, is going to realize that he can't get 100 percent of the time of Geragos. I mean, it just makes no sense. So he is going to end up with another lead defense attorney. And I don't know what's going to happen in the Peterson case, but I would suspect that there is a lot of evidence there, circumstantial evidence, along with forensic evidence.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what? You know what?
PIRRO: I think it's going to be a compelling case, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I'll bet against both of you. I bet that Mark Geragos stays in both cases. This is the best thing that could happen to Michael Jackson because there's no way he can go to trial while his lawyer's involved in this trial.
FEIGER: He'll stay in the trial...
VAN SUSTEREN: It pushes it way off in the future.
FEIGER: He'll stay there...
HAMMER: My money is on Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Thank you. Thank you, Jim. I appreciate that. Laura, gentlemen, thank you all.
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