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Lawyers for gangster Whitey Bulger to ask court to remove judge

  • Whitey_Bulger_Arrested.jpg

    FILE - In these 1984 file photos originally released by the FBI, New England organized crime figure James 'Whitey' Bulger is shown. (AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)

  • WhiteyBulgerMUG.jpg

    This undated file booking photo shows the mob boss who was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the lam. (AP)

Lawyers for gangster James "Whitey" Bulger will be asking a federal appeals court to remove a judge who's set to preside at Bulger's trial on murder charges.

The defense is scheduled to argue Tuesday before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Bulger's attorneys say U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns has a conflict of interest because he was a federal prosecutor in the 1980s, when Bulger was an FBI informant. Bulger now claims he received immunity for his crimes while giving the FBI information on the Mafia, his gang's main rival.

Prosecutors argue that Bulger has failed to show that any immunity agreement existed. They say Stearns was never privy to matters involving Bulger.

Bulger is accused of participating in 19 murders.

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