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Lawyer for Boston mobster Bulger seeks dismissal of trial judge because of connections

Lawyers for Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger have asked a federal appeals court to order the judge scheduled to preside over his trial to step aside because of his close ties to the U.S. Justice Department.

The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/UVyZvF ) reports that in a motion filed Tuesday, Bulger's lawyer said that if the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals fails to grant his request, Bulger's trial "will go forward under a dark cloud."

Bulger's lawyer argues that Judge Richard Stearns' ability to be impartial is questionable because he was a top prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in the 1980s and is a close friend of FBI director Robert Mueller.

The 83-year-old Bulger is scheduled to go on trial in June for his alleged role in 19 slayings.

Prosecutors had no comment.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe

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